Amendment to block F-16 fighters to Turkey included by House Rules Committee
US lawmakers’ efforts to block the sale of F-16 fighter jets to Turkey were on track on Wednesday, as the Rules Committee of the House of Representatives has voted to include an amendment by Rep. Chris Pappas in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2023.
The amendment would prohibit the sale of F-16s or modernization kits to Turkey unless certain conditions are met and requires the US President to “take concrete steps to ensure that the F-16s are not used by Turkey for repeated unauthorized territorial overflights of Greece.”
But the amendment allows a U.S. presidential waiver on national security grounds, which means that the president can override the restrictions if he certifies to Congress that doing so is in the vital interest of US national security.
US President Joe Biden supported the sale at a NATO Summit in Madrid at the end of last month and said he was confident the congressional approval needed for the sale can be obtained.
Turkey’s NATO membership should not shield its government from being held responsible for its behavior against Greece, US Congressman Chris Pappas said in an interview with Kathimerini.
"Turkey repeatedly flied its F-16s over inhabited Greek islands, has launched a baseless campaign disputing Greece’s sovereignty in the Aegean Sea, and President Erdogan openly threatens armed conflict with Greece on a regular basis," the Greek-American congressman said.
Earlier on Wednesday, Politico reporter Andrew Desiderio said that Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair Bob Menendez, who has the power to stymie the sale, was not going to drop his opposition.