US Congresswoman pushes to prevent the sale of F-16s to Turkey

US Congresswoman pushes to prevent the sale of F-16s to Turkey
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The sale of F-16s to Turkey would constitute a threat against stability in the Eastern Mediterranean, according to the US lawmaker Dina Titus.

Greek-American congresswoman Dina Titus said she will continue to work for preventing Washington’s arms sales to Turkey.

“[Turkish President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan has said and done nothing to show this is the right move for long term stability in the region,” Democratic US lawmaker said via social media on Thursday. 

Last year, Turkey made an official request to buy 40 F-16s and some 80 modernization kits for its existing fleet, after Washington excluded it from the F-35 stealth fighter jet program over its acquisition of Russian S-400 air defense missiles in 2019.

While Biden said the US administration supports the sale of the aircraft to Ankara, a possible deal needs approval from the Congress.

Titus said she spoke with the US State Department regarding President Joe Biden’s support for selling F-16s to Ankara. 

“I will continue to push for policies that protect our allies in the Eastern Mediterranean,” she said.

On Tuesday, a group of lawmakers including Titus have filed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to block the sale of weaponry to Turkey, should it continue territorial overflights and air space violations in the Aegean.

Under the amendment, the president of the United States is banned from transferring arms to a NATO member country that has repeatedly violated the airspace, sovereignty or territorial integrity of another NATO member within the past year, according to Greek Kathimerini newspaper.