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Turkey's Erdogan wants 'simultaneous' progress on F-16s, Sweden’s NATO bid

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan will handle the two processes simultaneously.

ANKARA — Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was quoted on Tuesday as saying that it would be easier for the Turkish parliament to ratify Sweden’s pending membership in NATO if the Biden administration moves on with the Turkish bid to buy new F-16s from the United States. 

According to Erdogan, US President Joe Biden told him during their phone call last Friday that his administration would pass the F-16 sale to Congress once Turkey’s ratification is done.

“It was conveyed that running these simultaneously will allow us to pass [the Swedish bid] from the parliament much more easily,” Erdogan told reporters on his way back from Hungary. 

“Let US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and our Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan handle these processes simultaneously.” Fidan and Blinken held a follow-up call on Sunday after the rare conversation between the two leaders last week. 

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