Turkey Reportedly Opposes Delays in Procurement of F-16 Fighters From US
ANKARA (Sputnik) - Turkey has opposed the delay in the procurement of F-16 fighter jets from the United States and demanded that the Pentagon submit the issue to the US Congress, Turkish newspaper Sabah reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.
Ankara is planning to purchase 40 F-16 fighters from the US and modernize 80 more already deployed. US President Joe Biden said earlier that he was hoping to get congressional approval for the delivery of fighters to Turkey. However, a group of US congressmen opposed the deal. Moreover, Greece is actively obstructing the delivery of fighters, which became one of the reasons for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to refuse to have contacts with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and accuse him of violation of reached agreements.
The media cited its sources as saying that Turkey would not like the issue to be subjected to lengthy procedures and delays; therefore, Ankara is negotiating with the Pentagon and demanding that the issue be submitted to the US Congress. Thus, Turkey is trying to speed up the decision-making on the procurement, as Congress must approve the issue within a certain time.
Negotiations on F-16s' procurement have been going on for some time, the source said, adding that the issue will be discussed during a possible meeting between Biden and Erdogan in New York on the outskirts of the 77th Session of the UN General Assembly due from September 13-27.
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