U.S. lawmakers express concern over reports of potential Turkey F-16 purchase By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: An F-16 plane of the Turkish Stars aerobatic workforce of the Turkish Air Power performs throughout Teknofest airshow in Istanbul, Turkey September 20, 2018. REUTERS/Osman Orsal/File Photograph

By Patricia Zengerle

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Democratic and Republican U.S. lawmakers urged President Joe Biden’s administration to not promote F-16 fighter jets to Turkey and mentioned they had been assured Congress would block any such exports.

In a letter to Biden and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, 11 members of the Home of Representatives cited “a profound sense of concern” about current reviews that Turkey might buy 40 new Lockheed Martin (NYSE:) F-16s and 80 F-16 modernization kits.

The letter was dated Oct. 25 and reviewed by Reuters on Tuesday.

“Following President (Tayyip) Erdogan’s September announcement that Turkey will buy a further tranche of Russian S-400 missile protection programs, we can not afford to compromise our nationwide safety by sending U.S.-manufactured plane to a treaty ally which continues to behave like an adversary,” the lawmakers wrote.

The White Home and State Division didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

Reuters reported earlier this month that Turkey had made a request to the USA to purchase 40 Lockheed Martin-made F-16 fighter jets and almost 80 modernization kits for its current warplanes.

Ankara had additionally beforehand ordered greater than 100 Lockheed Martin F-35s, however the USA eliminated Turkey from this system in 2019 after it acquired the Russian S-400s.

The letter was led by Republican Consultant Nicole Malliotakis and Democratic Consultant Carolyn Maloney.

“Whereas we’re assured that Congress will stand collectively to dam any such exports ought to these plans progress, the USA can not afford to switch any superior navy tools to the federal government of Turkey right now,” the letter mentioned.

The partnership between the NATO allies has gone by tumult prior to now 5 years over disagreements on Syria, Ankara’s nearer ties with Moscow, its naval ambitions within the Mediterranean, U.S. costs towards a state-owned Turkish financial institution and erosion of rights and freedoms in Turkey.

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