F-16 Sale to Turkey: US Senate overwhelmingly rejects blockade effort

The U.S. Senate decisively rejected a proposal to halt the $23 billion sale of F-16 fighter jets and modernization kits to Turkey, following the Biden administration's approval linked to Turkey's endorsement of Sweden joining NATO.

Publication: 01.03.2024 - 10:47
F-16 Sale to Turkey: US Senate overwhelmingly rejects blockade effort
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The Senate's vote of 79 to 13 came after Senator Rand Paul led a disapproval motion, criticizing Turkey's actions but facing opposition who argued for honoring commitments to a NATO ally.

The Biden administration had notified Congress of its plans to sell 40 Lockheed Martin F-16s and nearly 80 modernization kits to Turkey, coinciding with Ankara's ratification of Sweden's NATO membership. The sale, initially requested by Turkey in October 2021, faced delays due to Turkey's hesitations on Sweden's NATO application.

Congress has the authority under the U.S. Arms Export Control Act to veto major arms deals through a resolution of disapproval, a power that has never successfully overturned a sale due to a presidential veto. The debate came against the backdrop of Sweden and Finland's NATO applications following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, with Sweden's membership facing obstacles from Turkey and Hungary, underscoring NATO's unanimous approval requirement for new members.

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