Key US Senator still objects F-16 sales to Turkey

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The Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Bob Menendez who has the power to stymie the transfer of fighter jets said Turkish President should stop aggression before his approval

Bob Menendez, the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said on Thursday that he would not approve any F-16 sales to Turkey until President Tayyip Erdogan halts his campaign of aggression across the region, after the US Senate dropped amendments in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) restricting the sale of F-16s to Turkey.

“Let me be clear: as #SFRC Chairman, I will not approve any F-16 case for Turkey until Erdogan halts his campaign of aggression across the region. Full stop,” Menendez said on Twitter.

The proposed sale must go through the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to be approved, and Senator Menendez, who chairs the committee, has the authority to thwart the deal.
In response to Turkey's 2019 purchase of Russian S-400 defence systems, Washington cut Turkey out of the F-35 stealth fighter plane programme. Instead, Turkey requested 40 F-16s and about 80 modification kits for its current fleet in writing last year.
At the NATO summit in Madrid at the end of last month, US President Joe Biden endorsed the sale and expressed confidence that the congressional clearance required for the sale could be gained.