SYRIZA Demands Parliament Briefing on US Sale of F-16s to Turkey

ATHENS – Unsatisfied with American terms to limit how new F-16 fighter jets sold to Turkey could be used, Greece’s major opposition SYRIZA said the New Democracy government should give lawmakers more details on safeguards.

That followed concerns from Sen. Bob Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat friendly to Greece, that the US conditions on Turkey weren’t strong enough, although his influence has waned after being charged in a corruption scandal.

“The announcement by Senator Menendez, in which he criticizes the US administration for not securing substantial terms for the sale of F-16s to Turkey, particularly with regard to their use for illegal offensive actions against Greece and the Republic of Cyprus, sounds the alarm on a major issue,” a SYRIZA statement read, accusing Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis of imposing “silence” on the issue.

US President Joe Biden made a deal with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to get 40 F-16s for $23 billion in return for dropping opposition to Sweden and Finland joining NATO and the US Senate rejected a resolution against a resolution of disapproval.

That was brought by Republican Sen. Rand Paul from Kentucky who said before the vote that allowing the sale would reward Turkey for “misbehavior,” Erdogan earlier getting Russian-made S-400 missile defense systems that undermine NATO and threaten Greece.

Greece has largely stayed silent on Turkey acquiring more F-16s with Erdogan earlier saying he wouldn’t abide by any conditions and Greek worries that he might return to having Turkish fighter jets violate Greek airspace.

Greece is seeking US made F-35 fighters that are more advanced but Erdogan wants those too although that could require him not to deploy the Russian missile defenses although he has been crafty in getting what he wants and getting Biden and NATO to relent.

Turkey’s Air Force would also be upgraded with modernization kits for 80 fighter jets.

The U.S. 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, noted Reuters.


Although the law has been in effect for half a century, no such resolution has both passed Congress and survived a Presidential veto, rendering it essentially irrelevant and this time the Senate voted 79-13 against Paul’s resolution.


ATHENS - Expecting another record year in tourism to surpass the numbers in 2023 in arrivals and revenues, Greece’s infrastructure - particularly on overwhelmed islands - isn’t adequate to deal with the demands even as more resorts keep opening.

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