In 2022, the Turkish president accused Finland and Sweden of hosting “terrorists” from the Workers’ Party of Kurdistan.
Sweden announced in May 2022, in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February, its candidacy for NATO, at the same time as Finland, which in April became the 31st member of NATO. the organization.
If the American government has always been favorable to the sale of F-16s to Turkey, elected representatives in Congress, particularly Democrats were opposed to it and blocked the file arguing the negative record of human rights in Turkey and the tensions with Greece.
And they directly linked this contract to Turkish ratification.
As a result, the Biden administration held back until this Friday from notifying Congress.
The influential Democratic chairman of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, Ben Cardin, expressed his agreement for the sale in a press release released Friday evening, stressing that he had not taken this decision lightly. .
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken led an intense diplomatic sequence between Athens and Ankara to obtain this agreement, going as far as to repeat three times to the Turkish president during a trip to Ankara just after the earthquake in February 2023, that there would be no planes without ratification, according to the official.< /p>
The agreement required Athens to first undertake not to obstruct the sale, and Athens was granted simultaneous operation of more advanced F-35s, according to this source.
Athens has strongly contested the sale of F-16 fighter jets to Ankara due to long-standing territorial disputes with Turkey in the energy-rich eastern Mediterranean region.
This new enlargement of NATO is not, however, completely finished.
Hungary remains to ratify Swedish membership despite promises from Budapest that it would not be the last country to give the green light.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has once again shown that he is the most unreliable member of NATO, lamented Senator Ben Cardin.
In Washington, they say they expect it to take a few more weeks, but that Hungary has committed to moving forward. x27;before, which makes it possible to envisage a flag-raising ceremony during a next NATO ministerial, at its headquarters in Brussels in April.