U.S. may approve F-16 sale to Turkey in two months: spokesman

A U.S. Air Force F-16 fighter jet. (AFP photo)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — The spokesman to Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan Thursday said the process of the U.S. approving the sale of F-16 fighter jets to NATO member Turkey was going well and could be completed within a couple of months.

CNN Turk cited spokesman Ibrahim Kalin as saying in an interview with the broadcaster evening that the administration of President Joe Biden was making sincere efforts on the issue.

“It’s not very easy to give a clear forecast but it appears there is a high probability of the process being completed in the next month or two,” Kalin was quoted as saying when asked if the United States would sell F-16s to Turkey.

“When this happens the F-16 problem, both the modernization and the purchase of new F-16s, will be resolved.”

Turkey made a request to the United States in October 2021 to buy 40 Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N) F-16 fighters and nearly 80 modernization kits for its existing warplanes to update its air force after the purchase of F-35s fell through.

However, sentiment toward Turkey in the U.S. Congress has turned sour over the past few years, according to Reuters, since Ankara acquired Russian-made defense missile systems, triggering U.S. sanctions and Turkey’s removal from the F-35 fighter jet program.

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