Türkiye 'more hopeful than ever' about F-16 purchase from US: President Erdogan

Türkiye 'more hopeful than ever' about F-16 purchase from US: President Erdogan

Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s remarks come at end of NATO leaders’ summit in Lithuania

By Muhammed Enes Calli

ISTANBUL (AA) – Türkiye is "more hopeful than ever" about its F-16 purchase from the US, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday.

“Our expectation is that we shall reach a positive outcome. I am more hopeful than ever (about this issue),” Erdogan told a news conference at the end of the NATO summit in Lithuania's capital Vilnius.

About counterterrorism, he said a relentless fight against terrorism is indispensable for Türkiye.

"We expect a resolute and clear stance from our allies on this matter," he added.

On Quran burning in Sweden, the Turkish leader said that attacking people's sacred values is not freedom of speech, calling it "barbarism, primitiveness, and a kind of terrorist act."

Countries that voted against the resolution condemning the act of Quran burning in the UN Human Rights Council "should reconsider" their understanding of freedom and human rights, he urged.

On Tuesday, the UK, US, and some European Union member countries rejected condemning the burning of the Quran during an urgent debate at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva over the rising number of attacks against the Muslim holy book.

About Sweden’s NATO accession bid, Erdogan said: "Turkish Grand National Assembly is to vote on Sweden's NATO accession protocols. Our deputies will closely follow the issue."

He added: "Türkiye has always supported NATO's open-door policy. We have never prevented any country's accession to the alliance for arbitrary reasons."

Also touching on the Black Sea grain deal, which is set to expire on July 17, the Turkish leader said that Ukraine wants to extend the deal and efforts continue to address Russia's "suggestions."

"If Russia and Ukraine offer or accept mediation, Türkiye would be glad to accept it," Erdogan said.

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