Erdogan to discuss F-16 deal with Biden at NATO summit

Erdogan to discuss F-16 deal with Biden at NATO summit

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday he would meet U.S. President Joe Biden at a NATO leaders' summit this week and discuss what he said was Washington's "stalling" of Ankara's request to purchase new F-16 fighter jets.

Speaking before departing for the summit in Madrid, Erdogan said he had spoken to Biden on Tuesday morning and that Biden asked to meet him on later the same day or Wednesday.

The White House said Biden “looks forward” to seeing Erdogan in Madrid.

Erdogan told a press conference in Ankara ahead of his departure to Spain that Biden “expressed his desire to get together again tonight or tomorrow and we said ‘possible.’”

The Turkish leader said the pair would discuss Turkey’s requests for upgraded F-16s but said there were “diversionary tactics” at play. He didn’t elaborate.

Erdogan is infuriated by U.S. military bases in Greece and says the U.S. has been fixated on Turkey’s purchase of Russian-made S-400 missiles - a step that led to Ankara being kicked off the F-35 stealth jet program.

Erdogan confirmed he plans to meet with the leaders of Sweden and Finland, along with NATO’s secretary general, to continue discussions on Turkey’s objections to the two Nordic countries’ NATO membership bids.