US Senator Lindsey Graham has said he supports the Biden administration’s decision to sell F-16 fighter jets to Türkiye.
Graham visited Türkiye over the weekend, where he met with Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin on July 2.
According to a statement by the Turkish Presidency, the two officials discussed US-Türkiye bilateral relations, the fight against terrorism, cooperation in the defense industry, the Ukraine-Russia war, Black Sea grain shipments as well as other regional issues.
Cooperation in the field of defense and making progress on the F-16 issue will serve the interests of the two countries, the statement said.
In a tweet after the meeting, Graham said he had a “very productive trip” to Türkiye, which, he stressed, is a “member of NATO and a valuable American ally”.
“While we have had a problematic relationship at times, it is imperative Turkey and the US take steps to strengthen the ties between our two nations,” Graham wrote on Twitter.
“I will do all in my power to support the Biden Administration’s decision to sell F-16s to the Turkish Air Force,” he said.
He added that the fighter jets will bolster the Turkish military that is “most definitely in America’s national security interests.”
The Turkish government requested the F-16s and modernization kits in October 2021. The $6 billion deal would include the sale of 40 newly built F-16 fighter jets and modernization kits for 80 F-16 C/D models that the Turkish Air Force has in its inventory.