Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Monday expressed his willingness to buy F-16 fighter jets from the United States, US President Joe Biden who spoke to him said, adding he then told him Washington was keen to see Ankara drop its objection to Sweden's NATO accession.
The exchange took place in a call when Biden congratulated Erdogan for securing victory in Sunday's presidential election.
"I spoke to Erdogan. I congratulated Erdogan. He still wants to work out something on the F-16s. I told him we wanted to deal with Sweden, so let's get that done. And so we'll be back in touch with one another," Biden told reporters before departing the White House for Delaware.
"We're going to talk more about it next week," he added.
The statement from the Turkish presidency on the call was brief and vague. It said the two leaders agreed to deepen cooperation on all aspects of their bilateral ties, whose importance they said has grown even more in the face of regional and global challenges.
Turkey has sought to buy $20 billion worth of F-16s from the United States but the sale has not moved quickly due to objections from the US Congress, even though the Biden administration has repeatedly said it supports it.
NATO-Turkey relations under Erdogan
Sweden and Finland applied for NATO membership last year, ditching long-held policies of military non-alignment following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, but their bids need approval from all NATO member states.
Turkey ratified Finland's NATO accession in late March but has continued to object to Sweden, saying Stockholm harbors members of militant groups it considers to be terrorists. Hungary has also not yet approved Sweden's bid.
Seeing Sweden in NATO by mid-July when the alliance is due to hold a leaders summit in Lithuania is among the top priorities for Washington.