Speaking about Washington’s potential sale of F-16 fighter jets to Ankara, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that his U.S. counterpart Joe Biden “said that there had been favorable developments.”
He was speaking at a press conference on the sidelines of the G-20 Bali Summit in Indonesia.
Earlier, speaking on the sidelines of the summit, Biden said that his government will continue to support the potential sale of F-16 fighter jets to Türkiye.
Türkiye has been seeking to modernize its existing warplanes to update its air force and sought to buy 40 Lockheed Martin F-16 jets and nearly 80 modernization kits from the U.S. after the purchase of F-35s fell through.
The sale of U.S. weapons to Türkiye became contentious after Ankara acquired Russian-made S-400 defense missile systems. The deal triggered U.S. sanctions as well as Türkiye’s removal from the F-35 fighter jet program.
The relations between Ankara and Washington have been strained in recent years because of U.S. cooperation with the YPG/PKK terrorist group in Syria, its failure to extradite the wanted ringleader of the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), disagreements over Türkiye’s purchase of Russia’s S-400 air defense system, and Washington’s sanctions on Ankara.
The U.S. has said it is cooperating with the YPG/PKK in northern Syria to fight the terrorist group Daesh but Turkish officials say using one terrorist group to fight another makes no sense, morally or otherwise.