Turkey to resume talks over purchase of F-16s from US in January
This comes in light of recent amendments that were introduced in the US Senate's National Defense Authorization Act.
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said on Saturday that Turkish officials will be holding talks with US delegates in January to discuss the purchase of F-16 fighter jets. “Regarding the F-16 issue, a delegation is expected to go to the US to hold talks in the Senate in January,” Akar said told reporters on Saturday.
On December 8, the US House of Representatives cleared the remaining barriers that were standing in the way of the deal, through an amendment of the National Defense Authorization Act.
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In 2019, the US removed Turkey's participation in its F-35 program due to Ankara's purchase of the Russian S-400 air defense system. Last year, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that the US suggested that Turkey procure the fourth generation of F-16 fighter jets instead of the fifth generation F-35s.
After canceling the joint memorandum on the F-16s with Turkey, Washington signed it with the seven remaining partners - the UK, Italy, the Netherlands, Australia, Denmark, Canada, and Norway.
In September, Erdogan said Turkey may consider countries such as Russia if the US fails to follow through with a pledge to deliver F-16 fighter jets, stating, "The US is not the only one selling warplanes in the world. The UK, France, and Russia sell them as well. It's possible to procure them from other places, and others are sending us signals."
On October 8, sources reported that Ankara was considering purchasing the fourth-generation Eurofighter Typhoon jet fighters if the deal on the acquisition of the US-made F-16 fell through.
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