US Congress committee seeks ban on delivery of F-35 jets to Turkey

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Posted on: Kathimerini | February 20th, 2019

A joint committee of US Congress’s two chambers called for a temporary ban to be placed on the delivery of F-35 fighter jets to Turkey, effective until November 1.

American legislators are seeking to block the delivery of the advanced fighter jets in demand that Turkey, a NATO ally, abandons plans to purchase a missile defense system from Russia.

The call for the ban came during a vote on the 2019 budget, in which the committee said it will not approve funding for the transportation of the American-built fighter jets to Turkey until the secretaries of defense and state present Congress with a report by November 1 detailing plans for sanctions in the event that Ankara proceeds with the purchase of the S-400 defense system.

The development comes in the wake of intense lobbying from the Hellenic American Leadership Council (HALC), as well as the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA), both of which strenuously object to Turkey’s procurement of the advanced aircraft.

The joint committee’s decision still needs to secure the approval of the House of Representatives and the Senate.

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