The Biden administration threw its support on Wednesday behind the potential sale of F-16 fighter jets to Turkey, a day after Ankara lifted a veto of NATO membership for Finland and Sweden.
Speaking at a briefing call, Celeste Wallander, Assistant Secretary for Defense for International Security Affairs at Pentagon, told reporters that strong Turkish defense capabilities would reinforce NATO’s defenses.
“The United States supports Turkey’s modernization of its fighter fleet because that is a contribution to NATO security and therefore American security,” she said.
“These plans are in the works. And, they need to be worked through our contracting processes,” she added.
Turkey made a request in October to the United States to buy 40 Lockheed Martin-made F-16 fighters and nearly 80 modernization kits for its existing warplanes.
Washington had not previously openly expressed any opinion on the sale aside from saying all weapons sales would have to go through the necessary legal process.
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