President Joe Biden has told Turkey to aid the U.S. in expanding NATO if the country wants to buy American fighter jets.
Speaking to newly-reelected President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, American Commander-in-Chief Joe Biden appeared to link Turkish support for the expansion of NATO to its ability to buy U.S. F-16 fighter jets.
Turkey has reportedly been eyeing up the purchase of $20 billion worth of F-16s as well as numerous upgrade kits for its existing fighter jet fleet.
However, Erdoğan’s refusal to allow Sweden to join NATO, partly over issues to do with Quran-burning protests in the country, has angered American lawmakers, who have taken to blocking certain weapons sales to the country as a result of Turkey’s veto of the Scandinavian state.
While the U.S. government is reportedly denying a quid pro quo arrangement, according to a report by Reuters, President Biden has now told Erdoğan during a phone call on Sunday that if he wants more F-16s, he should let Sweden join NATO.
“He still wants to work on something on the F-16s,” Biden said, describing the call, which was ostensibly to congratulate Erdoğan on his reelection.
“I told him we wanted a deal with Sweden, so let’s get that done. And so we’ll be back in touch with one another,” he added.
The outlet also reports that a previous sale of upgraded F-16 hardware to Turkey was approved by the U.S. just days after it approved Finland’s application to join NATO.
h/t Coastie Patriot