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US Congress sends Turkey message about overflights in Greece

The US Congress sent a clear message to Turkey that a NATO member-state should not carry out overflights against another member of the Alliance.

The message was sent in the explanatory text of the Fiscal 2023 National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, which, however, did not include an amendment to ban the sale of F-16 fighter jets to Turkey or upgrade kits for those it already has.

However, US sales of weapons systems will have to receive the approval of the Armed Services Committee chaired by Senator Bob Menendez, who opposes the sale of arms to Turkey.

The House and Senate Defense committees completed a month-long round of negotiations to finalize the text on Tuesday.

Last July, the House committee accepted one of two amendments tabled, one of which was to impose restrictions on the sale of new F-16 fighters to Turkey and on the sale of modernization kits for fighters already in the possession of the Turkish Armed Forces.

The amendment by Representative Chris Pappas was accepted by the House and was preceded by a joint letter from the Hellenic American Leadership Council and the American Jewish Committee, asking US lawmakers to support the amendment.

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

However, the provision in the amendment regarding restrictions on F-16s for Turkey was not included in the final text accompanying the $858 billion defense policy bill.

Turkey welcomed the removal of curbs on the sale of US F-16 fighters.

“The absence of [restrictions] is a positive development. We welcome this,” said Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, adding that the completion of the deal would be “in everyone’s interest,” and that the process must be finalized “as soon as possible.”

PS No matter how many clear messages Turkey receives by the US, the NATO, the EU, the EUCO etc Ankara continues to send its F-16 over Greek islets and islands with recent airspace violations to have reached a daily record of 60-70.

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2 comments

  1. They sent them a message? They must be quaking in their boots.

  2. A clear message?…..certainly not from Biden then.