US approved sale of 40 F - 35 stealth fighter jets to this country

US approved sale of 40 F - 35 stealth fighter jets to this country

The US government, after months of discussions, authorised a $23 billion agreement to sell F-16 jets to Turkey days after Ankara accepted Sweden's NATO membership, *AFP *reported citing the State Department.

As required by US law, the State Department notified Congress of the agreement, as well as a separate $8.6 billion sale of 40 F-35s to Greece.

The State Department announced in a news release that Turkey will get improvements to 79 of its aircraft in its current fleet in addition to 40 new F-16s.

The Turkish Parliament, after more than a year of delays that disrupted Western efforts to demonstrate strength to Russia, finally accepted Sweden's NATO membership on Tuesday.

At first, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan objected to Stockholm's NATO request on allegations that it was hosting Kurdish organisations that Ankara considered "terrorist".

In response, Sweden strengthened its anti-terrorism laws and implemented additional security measures, as requested by Erdogan.

Erdogan, however, then shifted his focus to an unfulfilled US promise to supply a batch of F-16 fighter jets, which had encountered opposition in Congress due to Turkey's alleged violations of human rights and its ongoing standoffs with Greece, a fellow NATO member.

During two visits to Turkey in the last three months, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken informed the country that the acceptance of the Swedish membership might aid in breaking congressional resistance to the F-16 sale. -APP/AFP