The Biden administration has asked leaders in Congress to approve the transfer of F-16 fighter jets to Turkey, a clear bid to strengthen Washington-Ankara ties even as views of the NATO ally sour on Capitol Hill, Politico says.
“The proposed weapons sale, which was sent to congressional leaders last month, highlights how Turkey is hoping to leverage its role as a facilitator of Russia-Ukraine peace talks and its backing of the Ukrainian military as a way to repair frayed relations with Washington and obtain new weapons. The potential deal would include missiles, radar and electronics for Turkey’s F-16s, representing a significant upgrade for the country’s jet fighters,” The Wall Street Journal first reported.
“U.S. officials familiar with the request said the administration could be using the missile deal to gauge the level of support in Congress for a separate proposal to sell 40 new F-16s to Turkey,” he continued.
U.S.-Turkey ties haven’t been the same since Ankara chose to buy Russian military equipment in 2017 and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan increasingly turned more authoritarian. Turkey backing Ukraine, though, seems to have improved the situation.