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Biden says he discussed F-16s, Sweden's NATO bid in call with Erdoğan

President Biden discussed F-16 fighter jets and Sweden’s NATO bid in his reelection congratulatory call to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey.

“He still wants to work on something on the F-16s,” Biden told reporters Monday about the call. “I told him we wanted a deal with Sweden, so let’s get that done.  And so, we’ll be back in touch with one another.”

When asked if he’s expecting movement on Sweden’s membership in NATO on Erdoğan’s part, the president said he “raised that issue with him” and the two leaders will talk more about it next week.

Turkey is seeking to buy F-16 fighter jets and has recently purchased S-400 air defense systems from Russia. Erdoğan has also not approved of Sweden joining NATO, which is being pushed by U.S. and its allies to isolate Russia amid the war in Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Biden earlier this month told Group of Seven leaders that the U.S. will support a joint effort to train Ukrainian pilots on F-16s. The F-16 is a fourth-generation aircraft that is far superior to the Soviet-era jets Ukraine is operating.

Erdoğan officially won reelection with 52 percent of the vote Sunday, extending the populist’s authoritarian rule into a third term.

Biden and Erdoğan “discussed their readiness as NATO Allies to address regional and global challenges, including strengthening transatlantic security at the NATO Summit in Vilnius” on the call, according to a White House readout. The NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, is set to take place in July.

Biden congratulated Erdoğan and the two “expressed their shared commitment to continue working together as close partners to deepen cooperation between our countries and people,” according to the readout.

Source: The Hill

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