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President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday made Turkey’s ratification of Sweden’s stalled NATO membership utility conditional on the US Congress “concurrently” approving Ankara’s request for F-16 fighter jets.

Sweden and Finland dropped many years of army non-alignment and sought the nuclear safety afforded by the US-led protection group in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine final 12 months.

Their bids received fast-track approval from all NATO members besides Turkey and Hungary.

The 2 finally relented and accepted Finland into the bloc this 12 months.

Erdogan in July lifted his objections to Sweden’s membership after Stockholm took steps geared toward cracking down on Kurdish teams that Ankara views as terrorists.

However the Turkish parliament’s overseas affairs committee final month delayed forwarding the appliance for a vote by the total chamber — a call that drew a stern rebuke from NATO Secretary Normal Jens Stoltenberg.

Erdogan gave a second robust sign Friday that parliament will solely act on Sweden if the US Congress approves Turkey’s requested buy of dozens of F-16 fighter jets and spare components.

“You say you’ll take steps on the F-16 situation after passing it by way of the Congress, however I even have a parliament,” Erdogan informed reporters, referring to the US.

“If we’re two allied international locations in NATO, then you are able to do your half concurrently, in solidarity, and our parliament will do its half. That’s the factor.”

Getting older Air Pressure

Turkey’s getting older air pressure has suffered from Ankara’s expulsion from the US-led F-35 joint strike fighter program in 2019.

Washington took the step in retaliation for Erdogan’s resolution to accumulate a sophisticated Russian missile protection system that NATO seen as an operational safety menace.

US President Joe Biden‘s administration has repeatedly promised to maneuver ahead with the $20-billion F-16 sale.

However its approval has met resistance from congressional leaders who voice concern about Turkey’s human rights document and previous standoffs with fellow NATO member Greece.

The problem has been difficult by Turkey’s anger at Washington for its help for Israel within the Gaza battle.

Erdogan stated Friday that he had no intention of assembly with US President Biden any time quickly.

“A gathering with President Biden is just not on our agenda. Their stance on Gaza is thought to all of you,” Erdogan stated.

“If he calls us, we’ll meet with him and discuss no matter points we have to discuss.”

Sweden’s overseas minister stated final week that his Turkish counterpart had promised him that Ankara would approve Stockholm’s membership “inside weeks.”

However the Turkish parliament’s overseas affairs committee has nonetheless not scheduled a listening to on the bid.