NEWS

HALC welcomes Congress ban on arms sales to Turkey

TAGS: Diplomacy, Defense, Diaspora

The Hellenic American Leadership Council (HALC) welcomed on Thursday the US Congress decision that blocks the sale of weapons and F-35 aircraft to Turkey until further notice.

An overwhelming bi-partisan majority both at the Senate and the House in Washington has passed a bill backed by HALC and the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) with two key provisions on Turkey.

The first blocks the sale of weapons to the Turkish Presidential Protection Directorate (TPPD) of President Tayyip Erdogan until the US Secretary of State reports that members of that detail, that is charged with beating US protesters in 2017 in Washington, are brought to justice.

The second provision bans the delivery of US F-35 aircraft to Turkey until the US Defense Department submits a report to Congress regarding the national security consequences of Ankara acquiring Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missiles.

“We welcome the Congress’s continuing vigilance with regards to the regional implications of arms sales to Turkey,” said the executive directors of HALC, Endy Zemenides, and ANCA, Aram Hamparian: “The reporting requirements in this legislation represent meaningful progress in holding Turkey accountable for its increasingly reckless conduct in the region and brazenly violent actions here on our own shores.”

Zemenides and Hamparian added that “unfortunately even the reasonable and relatively mild restriction on F-35 sales – premised on giving Turkey a chance to improve its behavior as an ally – is already proving to be too optimistic, as Turkey – as recently as today – reaffirmed its intention to take delivery of the Russian S-400 missile system over strong American objections.”

The bill is now headed to the White House for signature, and President Trump has confirmed he will be signing it.

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