US Congress fails to stop F-16 deal with Türkiye

13:00 | 01.03.2024
US Congress fails to stop F-16 deal with Türkiye

US Congress fails to stop F-16 deal with Türkiye

The US Senate on Thursday soundly defeated an effort to stop the $23 billion sale of F-16 fighter jets and modernization kits to Türkiye, which President Joe Biden's administration approved after Türkiye approved Sweden's joining the NATO alliance, reported from Reuters.

The Senate voted 79 to 13 against a resolution of disapproval of the sale introduced by Republican Senator Rand Paul.

Before the vote, Paul criticized Türkiye's government and said allowing the sale would embolden its "misbehavior." Backers of the sale said it was important for Washington to keep its word to a NATO ally.

The Biden administration formally informed Congress on January 26 of its intention to proceed with the sale of 40 Lockheed Martin (LMT.N.), new tab F-16s, and nearly 80 modernization kits to Türkiye, a day after Ankara fully completed ratification of the NATO membership of Sweden.

The sale had been held up for months over issues including Türkiye's refusal to approve Sweden's accession to the military alliance. Türkiye first asked to make the purchase in October 2021.

The US Arms Export Control Act gives Congress the right to stop a major weapons sale by passing a resolution of disapproval in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. Although the law has been in effect for half a century, no such resolution has both passed Congress and survived a presidential veto.

Sweden and Finland applied to enter NATO after Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022. While Finnish membership was sealed last year, Sweden's bid had been held up by Türkiye and Hungary. All NATO members need to approve applications from countries seeking to join the alliance.
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