Washington DC, Friday, 15 July 2022
On Thursday, the US House of Representatives approved a bill that is likely to prevent the sale of F-16 fighter fighters to Turkey.
The law forbids the US President from giving the fighter jets or their parts to Turkey unless he can prove to Congress that Turkey hasn't breached Greece's sovereignty in the previous 120 days.
In addition, the President must state that giving the materials to Turkey is in the country's best interests, which is a challenging but not insurmountable requirement.
A House of Representatives committee this week authorised adding the addition to the National Defence Authorization Act, the nation's massive military budget plan for 2023. Congress had to approve it before it could be implemented.
Chris Pappas, a Greek-American Democrat from New Hampshire, and Frank Pallone, a Democrat from New Jersey, spearheaded the amendment, which was approved by Congress on Thursday by a vote of 244 to 179.
The entire bill, including the amendment, must be approved by the Senate in order to become law, even though it was passed by Congress. Before the Senate approves the enormous package in the upcoming months, which allots a staggering $800 billion for defence expenditure, it is expected to undergo a number of revisions.
Additionally, the amendment requires the US President to demonstrate that actual measures have been "taken to ensure that such F-16s are not employed by Turkey for repeated unauthorised territorial overflights of Greece."
The modification is made at a time when tensions between Greece and Turkey are particularly high.
Greece and other countries have criticised Turkey in recent months for conducting unauthorised aircraft overflights over Greek islands. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz's spokesperson stated in June that "the violation of Greek air space and overflights above Greek islands is not proper."
The official added that it was "counterproductive and against the spirit of the alliance" for Turkey to refuse to communicate with NATO countries.
However, the US declared it fully supported the upgrade of Turkey's F-16 force late last month, hours after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan decided to suspend the threat of a veto on Finland and Sweden joining NATO.
(Report by: The Decision Maker – International Relations editors)