The US government is set to approve the sale of up to 40 cutting-edge F-35 stealth fighter jets to Greece, as revealed in a letter from US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, published by his office on Saturday.

In a preceding announcement, Washington had also disclosed plans to sell up to 40 F-16 fighter jets to Turkey, following Ankara’s recent approval of Sweden’s NATO accession earlier in the week.

While both transactions await authorization from the US Congress, the likelihood of approval is high. Mitsotakis, in a video address, expressed his approval of the move, highlighting its significance in strengthening the strategic ties between the US and Greece.

Blinken’s letter emphasized shared interests in the Mediterranean region, with the US having expanded its four large military bases in Greece recently.

Though Greece had conveyed its interest in the fighter jets in May 2022, observers noted that patience was required to avoid disturbing the delicate military balance between the feuding NATO members, Turkey and Greece.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had tied his country’s approval of Sweden’s NATO accession to the expected delivery of fighter jets from the US, a condition now being fulfilled.

According to sources in the Greek Ministry of Defence, the acquisition of F-35 fighter jets will position Greece as the exclusive country in the eastern Mediterranean, apart from Israel, with access to these state-of-the-art aircraft.

However, concerns linger among experts regarding the armament of the neighboring countries. Recent years have witnessed multiple incidents between Turkish and Greek fighter jets in the Aegean, adding to the complexity of their longstanding disputes over sovereign rights in the eastern Mediterranean and the subsea natural gas deposits.