The U.S. ambassador to Turkey, Jeff Flake has said he anticipates that President Tayyip Erdogan will give a final sign-off on Sweden’s NATO membership within days, triggering rapid steps toward U.S. Congress endorsing a sale of F-16 fighter jets to Ankara.
In a statement, Ambassador Jeff Flake said that once the formal ratification document is received in Washington, the U.S. State Department will immediately send Congress notification of the $20 billion F-16s sale.
U.S department Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel said President Joe Biden has sent a letter to leaders of key Capitol Hill committees informing them of his intention to begin the formal notification process for the F-16 sale once Ankara completes Sweden’s NATO accession process.
A senior fellow at the council of foreign relations, Professor Charles Kupchan, in his reaction to Turkey’s ratification noted that NATO will see a significant shift in its operations, arguing that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has pushed other nations to seek safety.
Turkey’s parliament ratified Sweden’s NATO membership bid on Tuesday, clearing a major hurdle to expanding the Western military alliance after 20 months of delay but President Erdogan needs to sign the legislation, which would be published in Turkey’s Official Gazette.