Erdogan Says He Expects Biden to Help With F-16 Approval: Report
(Bloomberg) -- President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Joe Biden had pledged help to secure the approvals necessary for the sale of F-16 warplanes to Turkey, according to remarks carried by A Haber television station.
The Turkish president’s account of his conversations with the U.S. president couldn’t be immediately verified.
A senior U.S. official who requested anonymity to discuss the meeting said earlier on Sunday Biden made clear to Erdogan that there was a process underway that Turkey would have to go through for its request to purchase F-16 jets. Turkey’s possession of a Russian S-400 missile system continues to be a concern for the U.S. Congress and the Biden administration, the official said.
Erdogan said he discussed Turkey’s request to buy the jets from the U.S. with Biden during a meeting in Rome over the weekend, A Haber reported. The two also talked about Turkish grievances over a $1.4 billion payment made for a joint fighter jet program that Turkey was suspended from due to American sanctions, Erdogan said.
The Turkish leader said the U.S. president told him the deal would need to win support from both chambers of Congress, which could be a challenge.
Turkey said it sent a formal request to the U.S. on Sept. 30 to purchase 40 new F-16 Block 70 aircraft and nearly 80 kits from Lockheed Martin Corp. to modernize its existing fighters.
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