Following Sweden’s NATO induction, US okays F-16 sales to Turkey and F-35s for Greece

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Turkey Receives Green Light for F-16 Purchase Post Sweden’s Approach to NATO

In the latest development, the Turkish government has secured a favorable response from the Biden administration for its request to purchase F-16 combat jets. This follows swiftly after Sweden’s acceptance into the NATO alliance, affirmed by Ankara. This development is seen as a significant move towards expanding the alliance, more relevant than ever following the Russian incursion into Ukraine. The news has come from Reader Wall sources.

US Sanctions F-16 Deal with Turkey and F-35 Deal with Greece

Last Friday, the State Department informed Congress of its sanctioning of a $23 billion F-16 deal with Turkey. Greece was also given the go-ahead for the purchase of F-35 jets, costing $8.6 billion.

The approval was provided following Turkey’s “instrument of ratification” regarding Sweden’s NATO membership, and after Congress overcame its objections. Reacting to this, influential members of Congress revoked their dissent.

Details of Fighter Jet Deals

Turkey is poised to receive 40 new F-16 jets and equipment to refurbish 79 of its existing F-16 fleet as part of this deal. For Greece, the package includes 40 F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters along with auxiliary equipment.

The Contingency of the Deal

Long-time NATO member Turkey had tied the upgrade of its F-16 fleet to the acceptance of Sweden’s NATO membership. The US administration, under President Biden, supported the sale. However, several legislators expressed reservations due to human rights issues in Turkey.

However, such objections are no longer hurdle, with even the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s chairman, Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., and its ranking member, Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, on board with the sale.

An Optimistic Look Forward

In a recent statement, Cardin expressed his remaining concerns about Turkey’s human rights record whilst also acknowledging the commitments made by Turkey to address the situation. He showed enthusiasm for a new chapter in the US-Turkey relationship, the expansion of NATO, and collective action against Russian aggression.

The Reluctance Over Sweden’s NATO Membership

Turkey had held back its approval of Sweden’s NATO membership for over a year, citing that the Scandinavian country did not adequately address Turkey’s security apprehensions. These include the nation’s fight against Kurdish militants and other such groups viewed as security threats by Ankara.

This delay has exasperated the United States and other NATO allies, who were quick to welcome both Sweden and Finland into the fold, particularly in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Sweden’s NATO Accession and Hungary’s Role

Sweden’s official entry into NATO is now hinged on Hungary, the last NATO member yet to approve its membership. Officials from the US and NATO anticipate that Hungary will act swiftly, especially in light of Turkey’s decision.

The information provided has sourced from Reader Wall.

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