President Biden sent a letter to members of Congress urging them to approve the sale of F-16 fighter jets to Turkey

The Biden administration has sent a letter to members of Congress, urging approval for a $20 billion sale of Lockheed Martin F-16 aircraft and modernization kits to Türkiye, according to three sources familiar with the matter, as reported by Reuters.

As reported by Hümeyra Pamuk, this is NOT the formal notification that the State Dept needs to send to Congress to go ahead with the sale. Washington has been clear that it will only do so once Sweden’s NATO process is fully finalized. This letter is an interim step encouraging lawmakers to approve the sale.

The U.S. State Department on Wednesday said it welcomed the ratification of Sweden’s NATO bid by the Turkish parliament but said the process is not yet complete, adding that Washington looks forward to receiving Turkey’s instrument of ratification and Hungary moving along in the process as well.

State Department deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel told reporters that the Biden administration has been supportive of modernizing Turkey’s F-16 fleet, but that it recognizes that the U.S. Congress has a key role to play.