Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday that positive developments in the case of the US sale of F-16 fighter jets to Ankara and the Canadian arms embargo will help the Turkish parliament to ratify Sweden’s application for NATO membership, reports Reuters.
“The positive developments we expect both on the issue of (the purchase of US) F-16 aircraft and the fulfillment of Canada’s promises (regarding the lifting of the arms embargo) would help our parliament to have a positive attitude towards Sweden… It is all connected,” Erdogan told reporters during Monday’s flight from a visit to Hungary.
US President Joe Biden’s administration supports the $20 billion sale. However, there have been objections in Congress due to Turkey delaying Sweden’s entry into NATO and the country’s human rights record.
In turn, Canada quietly agreed to resume talks with Turkey on lifting export controls on drone components, including optical equipment, after Erdogan indicated in July that Sweden would get the green light from Ankara, Reuters reported.
Erdogan claims that he discussed the issue of Sweden joining NATO in a phone call with US President Joe Biden last week. “In the phone call, Mr. Biden said: ‘You will approve it (the Swedish NATO bid) in parliament and I will approve it (F-16 sale) in Congress,'” the Turkish president said.