WSJ: Biden admin asks Congress to approve upgrade of Turkey’s F-16 fighter jets
The administration of Joe Biden has asked the leaders of the US Congress to approve the sale of advanced weapons systems and other equipment for Turkey’s F-16 fighter jet fleet, said American officials as quoted by the Wall Street Journal.
In this way, the ground is being prepared for an imminent proposal to sell additional aircraft to Turkey, which seeks to redefine its relations with Washington in the context of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The proposed arms sale, sent to congressional leaders last month, highlights how Turkey seeks to use its role as mediator in the Russia-Ukraine peace talks and its support for the Ukrainian military as a means to an end to restore relations with Washington.
The main purpose is to acquire sophisticated weapons in the wake of facing restrictions after purchasing the Russian-made S-400 missile defence system. The possible deal will include missiles, radar and electronic systems for Turkey’s F-16s.
Turkey has hosted two rounds of talks between Kyiv and Moscow, and has also supplied armed drones to Ukraine and prevented some Russian warships from entering the Black Sea.
These moves have resulted in the tightening of ties with Washington and the more frequent contact of Turks with American officials, writes the Wall Street Journal.