According to the US president, Sweden’s membership application to NATO will be further discussed with the Turkish leadership next week.
President of the United States Joe Biden said on Monday that he had a phone conversation with the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan with the F-16 fighters the country wants and Sweden’s NATO membership.
According to Biden, Turkey still wants to buy American F-16 fighter jets, and the United States, in turn, wants Sweden to join NATO.
Biden called Erdoğan yesterday to congratulate him on Sunday’s election victory.
– I talked with Erdoğan. I congratulated Erdoğan. He still wants to agree something on the F-16 fighters. I told him we want a deal with Sweden, so let’s get it out of the way. So we will come back to this, Biden told reporters.
Biden, who left the White House for his home in Delaware, was asked if he expected Sweden’s membership to progress in the near future.
– I brought it up. We’ll talk more about that next week.
Deals stuck in Congress
Turkey and Hungary have not yet accepted Sweden’s NATO application and the country is still outside the military alliance.
Turkey would like to buy $20 billion worth of F-16 fighter jets from the United States, but the deals are without congressional approval.
In the United States, politicians who oppose the deals have cited Turkey’s poor human rights record and Ankara’s reluctance to promote NATO expansion.
Shortly after the Erdoğan administration gave its support to Finland’s NATO membership in the spring, the US Congress approved the sale of an upgrade package worth $259 million to Turkey’s current F-16 squadron.
However, the Biden administration has denied that the trade had anything to do with NATO expansion.
The Turkish president has commented briefly on the content of Monday’s phone call. According to Erdoğan, the leaders of the countries agreed to intensify bilateral cooperation.