Congress has to be on board with F-16 sale, State Department says 

Congress has to be on board with F-16 sale, State Department says 

The US State Department supports the sale of Lockheed Martin F-16 fighter jets to Turkey, but Congress has to also be on board since it is not solely up to the department to decide on the issue, spokesperson Ned Price told a briefing Thursday.

“In our government, these are decisions that are not only within – that are not only left to the executive branch. These are the types of decisions that our legislative colleagues, our colleagues in Congress, also have a say over,” Price said. 

“We’ve made clear to Congress our support for the F-16s. Congress has made its position clear, or I should say individual senators – or groups of senators, in some cases – have made their positions clear,” he said.

Earlier on Thursday, a bipartisan group of senators urged President Joe Biden to delay selling the F-16s to Turkey until President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stops blocking the entry of Sweden and Finland into NATO.

Describing Turkey as a “valuable NATO ally,” Price said Washington will continue to engage Turkey as it seeks to promote NATO’s Nordic expansion. 

“We’ll continue to find ways to see to it that we can work together with Türkiye, even as we seek to make the NATO alliance even stronger. And we think making the NATO alliance stronger would entail bringing the membership from 30 to 32,” he said.

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