USA | Pappas’ amendment to “block” Turkish F-16s has been approved
Defence Redefined
Published on 15/07/2022 at 09:00

On Thursday, the plenary session of the House of Representatives voted, with 244 votes in favor and 179 against, the amendment of the Democratic congressmen, Chris Pappas and Frank Palone, which prohibits the sale of new F-16s and modernization kit or upgraded technology to Turkey.

In essence, Chris Pappas’ amendments ban arms sales to Turkey unless Congress receives assurances that Ankara has not violated the sovereignty of Greece – or any other NATO ally – through overflights or airspace violations for at least six months.

In fact, should the US President decide to lift the ban on national security grounds, then he should detail the steps taken to ensure that the weapons are not used to violate the airspace, sovereignty, or territorial integrity of a NATO member-state.

According to the Pappas’ amendment, the sale of new F-16 fighters, but also any modernization kit or equipment upgrade to Turkey are expressly prohibited.

This is an extremely important development that will likely become US law at the end of the year as part of the defence budget. A similar amendment will be filed in the Senate in the coming months, increasing the likelihood that it will become US law.

“I spoke to the House about the amendment that was just passed that prohibits the sale of F-16 fighter jets to Turkey, without authorization from Congress. We cannot allow Erdogan to continue to use NATO membership to avoid consequences for his actions,” Democratic Rep. Frank Pallone said in a tweet.

Also read: N. Panagiotopoulos | Prompt procedures for the acquisition of F-35s from Greece

“We cannot ignore Turkey’s belligerent rhetoric and behavior towards Greece – a truly reliable and democratic NATO ally.” With these words, the Greek-American congressman, Chris Papas, had earlier described one of the important reasons behind his attempt to block the sale of arms to Ankara through the US House.

The Democratic congressman also expressed his concern over the possibility of an incident in the Aegean, arguing that Ankara should be held accountable for its attitude towards NATO, while stressing that the US should continue to reject Turkey’s requests for armaments until it changes its attitude.

It is noted that Joe Biden expressed his support for the sale of F-16s to Turkey in a statement, expressing optimism that approval will be given by Congress.

Biden had met with Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the sidelines of the NATO summit, but denied the proposed deal was a “trade-off” for Turkey to support the demands of Finland and Sweden to join the alliance.

“There was no quid pro quo in this matter. It’s just that we have to make the sale,” Biden told reporters. “I need congressional approval to be able to do this, and I believe we can have it,” he said a few days ago.

Also read: Chief of Staff meets with Lockheed Martin – F-35, P-3B Orion and F-16 Viper on the agenda

It is recalled that a few days ago there was a letter from the Hellenic American Leadership Council (HALC) and the American Jewish Committee (AJC), requesting US lawmakers to support the Pappas amendment.

The text of the letter stated the following:

“Turkish violations of Greek airspace and armed overflights over Aegean islands have reached dangerous levels, creating a real threat to peace and stability in the region.

In addition, Turkey conducts provocative and dangerous naval exercises, sometimes with live fire, in Greek territorial waters, and around inhabited islands.

Despite Turkey’s aggression, the US government has expressed its willingness to consider Turkey’s request to buy 40 Lockheed Martin F-16 fighter jets and 80 modernization kits for its existing massive fleet of warplanes.

Upgrading and selling new F-16s to Turkey would undermine US law, values, and interests. Turkey is already using its fleet of US F-16s to violate Greek airspace.

Many analysts have repeatedly expressed concern over the joint stationing of upgraded F-16s and S-400s.

Chris Pappas’ amendment prohibits the United States from selling modernization kits and new F-16s to Turkey unless Congress receives certification that Ankara has not violated Greece’s sovereignty – specifically through territorial overflights or violations of the Athens FIR. We hope you will support this important amendment.”

With information from: ERT, CNN Greece

Also read: USA | F-16 sale ban in Turkey – Konstantinos Floros inspects F-35s in Texas – Photos




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