US Senate votes against resolution on blocking sale of F-16 jets to Turkey

By Anadolu Agency

US senators voted Thursday against a resolution introduced by Republican Senator Rand Paul which sought to block the sale of F-16 fighter jets and other defense equipment to Turkey.

The resolution was defeated by 79 senators, while 13 were in favor.

On Jan. 26, the US State Department approved the $23 billion sale of F-16 aircraft and modernization kits to Turkey after Ankara greenlighted Sweden’s NATO membership.

Turkey in October 2021 requested from the US 40 new F-16 Block 70 aircraft as well as 79 modernization kits to upgrade its remaining F-16s to Block 70 level.

On Monday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Türkiye is focused on the F-16 warplanes rather than F-35 jets.

“We discussed with US senators the steps we will take on the F-16s,” he said, referring to a recent visit to Türkiye by Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Chris Murphy.

The president also said the Turkish government, including Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan, is continuing talks with their US counterparts on the warplanes.