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Biden supports Türkiye's F-16 fighter jet request: White House

US President Joe Biden has been supportive of Türkiye's request for the renewal and modernization of its F-16 fighter jet fleet, the White House said Tuesday.

"We've been very clear about the F-16. That conversation about the F-16 and Turkey has been around for some time," spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said at a press conference.

"We talked about this several months ago. So there's really nothing new. The president has supported that effort," she added.

Her comments were in response to a question that pointed out the criticisms of a group of Democratic lawmakers who opposed Biden’s remarks after his meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

In a press conference on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Madrid in late June, Biden said Washington “should sell” F-16 fighter jets to Türkiye, adding he was confident that the needed congressional approval would be obtained.

"We should sell the F-16 to Turkey. I said that in December, and my position hasn’t changed since then. It’s not in our interests not to sell them. We need congressional approval to get there, and I think we’ll get there," he added.

A key Republican senator, Lindsey Graham, who visited Türkiye over the weekend, reiterated his backing for the Biden administration’s decision to sell F-16 fighter jets to Ankara.

Graham met with Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin on July 2.

According to a statement by the Turkish Presidency, the two officials discussed US-Türkiye bilateral relations, the fight against terrorism, cooperation in the defense industry, the Russia-Ukraine war and Black Sea grain shipments as well as other regional issues.

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