US lawmakers file amendment to prevent the sale of F-16s to Turkey
A bipartisan group of US lawmakers have filed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to block the sale of F-16 fighter jets to Turkey, should it continues territorial overflights and air space violations in the Aegean, Greek Kathimerini newspaper reported on Tuesday.
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 Kathimerini.
After its acquisition of Russian S-400 defence systems in 2019, Washington excluded Turkey from a F-35 stealth fighter jet programme. Instead, Turkey made an official request to buy 40 F-16s and some 80 modernization kits for its existing fleet last year.
The amendment was submitted to Congress at the initiative of Chris Pappas and was co-signed by Dina Titus, Carolyn B. Maloney, Charlie Crist, and John Sarbanes, who are all members of the parliamentary group on Greek issues, Kathimerini said.
"There are too many issues to move forward with the sale of F-16s" Dina Titus said in a tweet:
While Turkey’s relenting on their opposition to Sweden & Finland joining @NATO is a welcome development, there are too many issues to move forward with the sale of F-16s. @RepChrisPappas @RepCharlieCrist @RepMaloney @FrankPallone @RepSarbanes Read more: https://t.co/V8RD2lCFZe— Dina Titus (@repdinatitus) July 5, 2022
The lawmakers are aiming to ensure that the Biden administration does not proceed with the sale, the newspaper said.
Last week, Biden said the United States supports the sale of F-16 fighter jets to Turkey.
However, the sale of the aircraft needs approval from the US Congress, where a group of bipartisan lawmakers, including a top senator Bob Menendez, the chairman of the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, strongly oppose the sale of the weaponry to Ankara.