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US welcomes Turkey’s signing $23 billion F-16 jets deal

Turkey's inking of the deal indicates that Ankara and Washington have agreed on the terms of the purchase and see an opportunity in exploring other avenues.
The Soloturk aerobatic demonstration team of the Turkish Air Force flies an F-16 aircraft over Anitkabir, the mausoleum of Turkish Republic's Founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, during celebrations to mark the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Turkey in Ankara, on October 29, 2023. Turkey marked its centenary as a post-Ottoman republic on October 29, 2023, with somewhat muted celebrations held in the shadow of Israel's escalating war with Hamas militants in Gaza. (Photo by Adem ALTAN / AFP) (Photo by ADEM ALT

ANKARA — The US State Department on Thursday welcomed Turkey’s signing of an official letter that certifies the sale for an estimated $23 billion military sale package that includes 40 new F-16 Block 70 fighter jets, calling it “a major step” in talks between the two. 

“The United States welcomes [Turkey’s] signing of a Letter of Offer and Acceptance to purchase F-16s,” a State Department spokesperson told Al-Monitor. “This sale is an investment in NATO interoperability and will support the national security interests of the United States, Turkiye, and the NATO Alliance.”

The Turkish Defense Ministry announced in May the conclusion of its deliberations on a $23 billion sale package that includes 40 F-16 fighter jets and roughly 80 modernization kits for Turkey’s existing fleet. The relevant documents were sent to Washington.

“Getting this particular sale over the finish line took some time,” State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller told journalists later on Thursday. “We’re glad to see that it’s moving forward.”

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