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

Turkey's President Erdogan says approval of Sweden’s application was up to the Turkish parliament, not for him to decide individually.
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a news conference after attending the G20 summit, in New Delhi on Sept. 10, 2023.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s much anticipated pull aside with US President Joe Biden on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in New Delhi has deepened the uncertainty around Sweden’s NATO membership bid, with the Turkish leader lashing out at America’s alleged linkage of F-16 sales to Turkey with Ankara’s approval thereof. 

The Biden administration was making the sale of 40 F-16 fighter jets and 80 modernization kits contingent on Turkey’s approval of Sweden’s accession to the security alliance and this "seriously upsets" Ankara, Erdogan told a news conference in the Indian capital.

Erdogan said it was for the Turkish parliament to decide whether or not to greenlight Sweden’s application and not for him to decide individually. “If you have a Congress, I have a parliament,” Erdogan said.

His comments bode ill for what the sides hope could be a potential groundbreaking meeting with Biden on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting that will kick off Sept. 18 in New York.  

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