Debate heats up over U.S. arms sales to Turkey

A member of the U.S. Congress has expressed his opposition to arms sales to Turkey following an unofficial bid by the administration of Joe Biden to seek lawmakers’ approval for a small weapons deal that is seen as paving the way for a bigger, multi-billion-dollar F-16 upgrade agreement.

“The United States must not reward Turkey with new weapons and military equipment given the (Turkish President Recep Tayyip) Erdoğan regime’s long record of domestic and international human rights abuses, destabilising actions in the region, and failure to live up to NATO commitments,” Democratic representative for New Jersey Frank Pallone said in a statement issued on Wednesday.

“In recent months, President Erdoğan has made meagre overtures to get back in our good graces. The United States cannot falsely assume that this sale will incentivise Erdoğan halt his deadly actions and change his diplomacy. On the contrary, we know exactly what will happen. This sale will only embolden him and give him the resources to continue his war mongering initiatives in the Caucasus and beyond. I cannot support any Congressional action that would help Turkey increase its military arsenal,” added Pallone, who is also the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

(A version of this article was originally published by the Kathimerini newspaper and is reproduced by permission.)


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