Joe Biden's administration backed the possible sale of F-16 fighter jets to Turkey, a day after Ankara lifted its veto of NATO membership for Finland and Sweden, Reuters reported.
U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Celeste Wallander told reporters that Turkey's strong defense capabilities would strengthen NATO's defense capabilities. "The United States supports Turkey’s modernization of its fighter fleet because that is a contribution to NATO security and therefore American security," she said.
"These plans are in the works. And, they need to be worked through our contracting processes," she added.
In October, Turkey asked the United States to buy 40 F-16 fighter jets manufactured by Lockheed Martin and nearly 80 upgrade kits for existing combat aircraft.
In March, the State Department sent a letter to some members of the U.S. Congress opposing the sale, saying that "appropriate" U.S. defense trade ties with Turkey would serve U.S. interests.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan is scheduled to meet with President Joe Biden later Wednesday.