BY DAILY SABAH WITH AGENCIES
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan held a series of high-level meetings with Libyan and Yemeni officials as well as representatives of the Jewish community in the U.S. and Sen. Lindsey Graham on Monday.
Erdoğan met with the head of Libya’s High Council of State Mohammad Younes Menfi, the chair of Yemen’s presidential council, Rashad al-Alimi, and the representatives of Jewish organizations in the U.S at the Türkevi building in New York City.
He also held a closed-door meeting with U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham. No further information was released about the meeting.
Graham previously said that he supports the Biden administration’s decision to sell F-16 fighter jets to Türkiye.
Ankara requested the F-16s and modernization kits last October. The $6 billion deal would include the sale of 40 F-16 jets and modernization kits for 79 warplanes that the Turkish Air Forces Command has in its inventory. However, in July, the U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation creating a new hurdle for the sale.
Washington had not previously openly expressed any opinion on the sale aside from saying all weapons sales would have to go through the necessary legal process.
In March, the State Department wrote a letter to some members of the U.S. Congress who had opposed the sale, saying “appropriate” U.S. defense trade ties with Türkiye would serve U.S. interests.
The sale of U.S. weapons to NATO ally Türkiye became contentious after Ankara acquired Russian-made S-400 defense missile systems, triggering U.S. sanctions as well as Türkiye’s removal from the F-35 fighter jet program.
The Turkish president will address the 77th session of the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday. The session will be held under the theme of “A Watershed Moment: Transformative Solutions to Interlocking Challenges.”
On the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly session, Erdoğan will hold talks with heads of state and government.
During his visit to New York, the president will also attend an event organized by the Türkiye-U.S. Business Council.
Erdoğan is also expected to attend a reception by U.S. President Joe Biden in honor of the heads of delegations.