US State Department spokesman Ned Price has confirmed that the country did not make any financing offers on Turkey’s request to purchase F-16 fighter jets.
The confirmation follows Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s comments made on Sunday over Washington’s offer to Ankara for the F-16 sale in return for Turkey’s investment in the F-35 programme.
Turkey was expelled from the F-35 fighter jet programme in July 2019 after it accepted delivery of the S-400 missile system from Russia.
In a press briefing, Price stated that the US Defense Department remains in consultations with Turkey on a blocked order of F-35 fighter planes.
Price said: “When it comes to Turkey, we strongly value our partnership with our Nato ally Turkey. It’s an important Nato ally.
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“We have longstanding and deep bilateral ties, and Turkey’s continued Nato interoperability remains a priority.
“The Department of Defense does remain in consultations with Turkey on the F-35 programme.”
“Turkish officials have publicly acknowledged their interest in purchasing F-16 aircraft. We would refer you to the Turkish Government to speak to its defence procurement plans.
“What I can say is the United States has not made any financing offers on Turkey’s F-16 request.”
Last week, Turkey reportedly requested the US for the sale of 40 F-16 fighter jets as part of initiatives to upgrade the country’s airforce.
The US State Department and Congress must approve the multibillion-dollar deal. They also have the authority to block it.