Turkey’s presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin on Wednesday welcomed the revocation of the special conditions relating to the sale of F-16s to Ankara in the US Senate version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) 2023.
In a press statement during his trip with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to the Kazakh capital Astana, Kalin said, “We consider this a positive step.”
He pointed out that the abolition of these conditions paves the way for submitting the bill to Congress in line with Turkish aspirations.
“This is a good development for us and if we do the F-16 deal, we will do so in the conditions that are right for us,” he added.
However, Turkey still has many issues awaiting negotiation with the US side.
He added, “This is a development in our interest, and we consider this a positive step for Turkey.”
And the US Senate held a session Tuesday to determine the final version of the National Defense Authorization Bill, which includes the defense budget for next year.
The council is discussing about 900 appendices to be added to the draft law.
According to well-informed sources in the US Congress, two supplements proposed by New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez and Maryland Senator Chris Van Hollen have been removed.
The two annexes make the sale of the United States of America F-16s to Turkey conditional.
After the Senate completes the bill, it will be converted into a common text with the House version and then sent to President Joe Biden’s office for approval.
A similar appendix was previously added to the parliament’s version of the draft law, but it is expected to be extracted in the common text.
Sources indicate that the diplomatic efforts made by Turkey in Washington have an effective role in this change at the level of the Senate.
Among the conditions put forward in the Menendez annex is a pledge to take concrete steps to ensure that the sale of aircraft to Turkey is consistent with US national security interests and that the aircraft sold are not used “in the continuing violations of Greek airspace.”
As for Van Hollen, he added to the bill the condition that planes should not be used against the YPG, the Syrian arm of the PKK terrorist organization, and that Turkey agree to Sweden and Finland to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).