ANKARA (AA) – The Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has said that the US should take care to keep its relations between Turkiye and Greece balanced.
The US had “a balanced policy (in the relations between Türkiye and Greece). An ally like the US needs to pay attention to (preserve) these balances,” said Mevlut Cavusoglu, referring to media reports on the possible US sale of F-35 fighter jets to Athens. He was speaking at a joint press conference with Bisera Turkovic, foreign minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Ankara.
Cavusoglu underlined that this balance had started to deteriorate, as had that between Turkish and Greek Cypriots on Cyprus.
Emphasizing that Ankara was not interested in “who is selling weapons to which side,” he said: “What matters to us is our strength, what we do, what steps we take for our interests. This is what matters to us.”
Cavusoglu also said that he would visit Washington on Wednesday to hold the second ministerial-level meeting of the Türkiye-US Strategic Mechanism with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
In its efforts to procure new F-16 fighter jets and modernization kits, Ankara has reached “an agreement with the US administration in every sense. We expect it to pass (in Congress) uneventfully.”
If the US administration stands firm, “there will be no problem,” he said, adding: “We do not want to buy products from any country conditionally.”
Ankara’s pursuit of F-16 jets is “important not only for Türkiye but also for NATO,” he added.
The US State Department sent Congress its decision on the potential sale of F-16 fighter jets to Türkiye for tiered review, according to sources.
The notification on the sale has been conveyed to the chairs and ranking members of relevant committees in the House of Representatives and Senate, according to sources who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The State Department is expected to officially announce its notification next week. The congressional notification of the sales will start a 15-day window for lawmakers to raise objections.
Ankara requested F-16s and modernization kits in October 2021. The $6 billion deal would include 40 jets and modernization kits for 79 warplanes that the Turkish Air Force already has in its inventory.