On Wednesday, Turkey praised the recent US decision to remove specific clauses regarding the sale of F-16s to Ankara from the final version of the US defense budget.
Mevlut Cavusoglu, the foreign minister of Turkey, and Nicu Popescu, the foreign minister of Moldova, both spoke at a press conference in Istanbul “The absence of a problematic aspect (in the law) is ultimately a good thing. We appreciate this.”
The final defense funding measure deleted amendments made in the US House of Representatives that made Turkey’s purchase of F-16 fighter fighters subject to a number of requirements.
The completion of the purchases and approval of this measure would be in “everyone’s benefit,” according to Cavusoglu, who also stated that the procedure must be completed “as quickly as feasible.”
The action was taken as a result of the removal of two Democratic senators’ amendments, Bob Menendez and Chris Van Hollen, that would have tied F-16 sales to Turkey to certain conditions from the Senate’s version of the yearly US defense budget bill.
The amendments sought to place a number of limitations on the sale of F-16s and modernization kits to Turkey, including a prohibition on using the fighter planes to infringe on Greek airspace and a requirement that the Biden administration vouch that the sale would be in the country’s best interests.
The National Defense Authorization Act will be passed by the Senate and then combined with a previous version that was approved by the House of Representatives before being delivered to President Joe Biden’s desk for signing.