Turkey ‘seriously upset’ over Washington linking F-16 sales to Sweden’s NATO membership

Source:al Monitor Date:13Sep2023

The Biden administration insists Turkey lifting its opposition to Sweden’s accession is not linked to the potential sale of F-16 fighter jets. But privately, US officials have told Turkey that Sweden’s stalled NATO application is the primary obstacle to congressional approval of the long-delayed $20 billion sale, sources close to the Turkish government have told Al-Monitor.

Alliance diplomats speaking not for attribution, however, claim the opposite, saying that Ankara will not sign off on Sweden until the US Congress agrees to the sale. “It’s a chicken and an egg situation,” one of the diplomats told Al-Monitor. Paul Levin, director of the Stockholm University Institute for Turkish Studies, commented on Twitter today that his country was “essentially a hostage” in Turkish US horsetrading over the F-16s.