State Department foreign operations bill seeks to limit transfer of F-35 to Turkey

State Department foreign operations bill seeks to limit transfer of F-35 to Turkey

A spending bill reflecting Congressional priorities to advance US foreign policy and US foreign assistance programs, submitted Thursday to the House of Representatives, seeks to limit the transfer of the Lockheed Martin Corp’s F-35 to Turkey unless Ankara, a NATO ally, reconsiders its decision to purchase the S-400 defense system from Russia.

“None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act and prior Acts making appropriations for the Department of State, foreign operations, and related programs, may be made available to transfer or deliver, or to facilitate the transfer or delivery of, F-35 aircraft to Turkey, including any defense articles or services to such aircraft, until the Secretary of State certifies to the appropriate congressional committees that the Government of Turkey is not purchasing the S-400 missile defense system from Russia and will not accept the delivery of such system,” the bill said.

Washington has repeatedly urged Ankara to call off its deal with Moscow, saying that the S-400 missiles are incompatible with NATO systems and a potential threat to the F-35s.

The $56.4 billion bill by the House Democrats, cast aside President Donald Trump's request to slash spending the State Department’s and foreign operations for fiscal 2020 by 21 percent.

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