Friday, 27 April 2018

Senate bill would block sale of F-35 jets to Turkey

Washington Examiner

A new bill introduced by a bipartisan trio of senators would stop the transfer of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters to NATO ally Turkey.

“President [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan has continued down a path of reckless governance and disregard for the rule of law. Individual freedoms have been increasingly diminished as Erdogan consolidates power for himself, and Turkey’s strategic decisions regrettably fall more and more out of line with, and at times in contrast to, US interests,” Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., said in a statement.

Lankford was joined by Sens. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., and Thom Tillis, R-N.C., in introducing the legislation.

Turkey is looking to buy 100 of the high-tech, fifth-generation fighter jets.

Under the proposed bill, Trump would be able to waive the ban on sales if he can certify to Congress that Turkey is not working in ways that degrade the NATO alliance, buying weapons from countries targeted by U.S. sanctions, and not “wrongfully or unlawfully” detaining U.S. citizens.

“Erdogan and his government must abide by the rule of law within his own country and abroad, and release Pastor Andrew Brunson and other Americans unlawfully held in Turkey,” Shaheen said.

Brunson has been imprisoned in Turkey since 2016 and was indicted on charges related to terrorism and espionage that 66 senators recently called bogus.

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