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Politics

AHI Reiterates Opposition of Proposed F-16 Sale to Turkey; Supports F-35s to Greece

WASHINGTON, DC – The American Hellenic Institute (AHI) on January 16 strongly reiterated its opposition to President Biden and his Administration’s desire to sell F-16 fighter jets to Turkey. Media outlets have reported that the Biden Administration plans to relay a formal notification to Congress requesting the sale of F-16s to Turkey.

The following statement is attributable to AHI President Nick Larigakis:

“We reiterate our strong opposition to the sale of any U.S. arms to Turkey based on our longstanding position that Turkey uses U.S.-supplied aircraft to infringe on Greek airspace, which violates U.S. law as it applies to the sale and use of U.S. military equipment to foreign countries, namely the Arms Export Control Act. In addition, Turkey had been removed from the F-35 program for its purchase of Russian S-400 missile defense systems, for which it continues to remain sanctioned under the The Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA). Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has made it clear that any attempt to sell F-16 jets to Turkey would be in violation of current CAATSA sanctions, which is a position we hold as well.

“The Biden administration’s desire to sell jets to Turkey is unconscionable and wreaks of appeasement. Turkey holding Sweden and Finland’s NATO bids hostage for its own gain is not new behavior. Turkey refused to allow the United States to use bases in Turkey to open a northern front against Saddam Hussein unless it was given thirty-two billion dollars. A former Bush administration official called Turkey’s negotiating tactics ‘extortion in the name of alliance.’ Today’s situation with NATO enlargement is no different.

“In addition, Turkey constantly challenges Greek sovereignty, violating Greek airspace over 11,000 times in 2022 alone. Furthermore, Turkey continues to maintain its 48-year-old illegal military occupation of Cyprus. Turkey and the leadership of the pseudo-state have advocated for a ‘two-state’ solution in Cyprus, and in recent months have threatened to illegally reopen the entire city of Varosha.

“Instead, the Administration needs to call out Turkey for what it is at this point: a failed ally, rogue state and pariah. At a time where the conflict in Ukraine is ongoing, we cannot afford to have the destabilization of NATO’s southeastern flank.

“In addition, while incentives may have its role in diplomatic relations, we are far past that point with Turkey. President Erdogan has threatened both Greece and the United States in recent months, including making statements about striking Greece with ballistic missiles. Trying to give weapons to a country that, under President Erdogan’s tenure, has threatened the United States, its allies and strategic partners, is the height of diplomatic malpractice.

“Rest assured, AHI will work with Congress, which has the authority to block arms sales, to oppose any efforts to give jets to Turkey. We thank members of Congress that have already spoken out against the Administration’s proposed arms sale based upon recent news reports.”

Proposed Sale of F-35s to Greece

In addition, it has been reported that the Administration also plans to give a notification to Congress on a sale of F-35 jets to Greece.

“Unlike Turkey, Greece has been a pillar of stability in the Eastern Mediterranean,” Larigakis added. “The defense relationship between Greece and the United States is burgeoning and at an all time high. We strongly encourage the sale of F-35 fighter jets to Greece and encourage the Congress to lend its full support.”

More information is available online: http://www.ahiworld.org.

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