Graham Throws Backing Behind Biden's Pursuit of $6 Billion Deal to Modernize Turkey's F-16 Fleet

© Twitter/@LindseyGrahamSCI had a very productive trip to Turkey, a member of NATO and a valuable American ally. While we have had a problematic relationship at times, it is imperative Turkey and the US take steps to strengthen the ties between our two nations.
I had a very productive trip to Turkey, a member of NATO and a valuable American ally.  

While we have had a problematic relationship at times, it is imperative Turkey and the US take steps to strengthen the ties between our two nations. - Sputnik International, 1920, 04.07.2022
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The future of an estimated $6 billion modernization deal between the US and Turkey is now at the mercy of US lawmakers, including members of the Hellenic Caucus who recently penned a bipartisan statement condemning the proposed sale of 40 Lockheed Martin-made F-16 fighters and nearly double that amount in modernization kits.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) took to Twitter Sunday evening to express his newfound support for strengthening US relations with Turkey, a NATO ally that has been seeking to procure at least 40 F-16 aircraft and dozens of modernization kits since October 2021.
“While we have had a problematic relationship at times, it is imperative Turkey and the US take steps to strengthen the ties between our two nations,” Graham tweeted upon his return to the states.
“These fighter jets, in the hands of our NATO allies, will create a sense of stability and provide capability to the Turkish military that is most definitely in America’s national security interests,” said the longtime US lawmaker for South Carolina.
 A Turkish Air Force F-16 fighter jet  - Sputnik International, 1920, 11.05.2022
White House Reportedly Asks US Congress to Approve Sale of Weapons For Turkey's F-16 Fleet
Graham’s proclamation of support comes three days after US President Joe Biden expressed optimism about securing congressional authorization for Turkey’s request.
Speaking to reporters in Madrid, Spain, last month, Biden disclosed that his meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan included a reassurance that he continues to support the sale and modernization effort, as it remains within the national interest of the US.
“I indicated to them that I’ve not changed my position at all since December,” Biden said.
Reps. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) and Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), co-chairs of the Hellenic Caucus, and caucus member Rep. Chris Pappas (D-NH) expressed staunch opposition to the modernization of Turkey’s F-16 fleet.
“I am deeply disappointed with the apparent plan to move forward with modernizing Turkey’s F-16s,” Maloney said in a quoted statement.

The US lawmaker for New York went on to assert that Turkey’s continued possession of Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile system, “which led to their ejection from the F-35 program and the imposition of [‘Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act’ (CAATSA)] sanctions.”

Members of the caucus have also called for additional sanctions to be imposed against Turkey, informing US Secretary of State Antony Blinken that Jeff Flake, his nominee for ambassador to Turkey, warned the US about circumventing the penalties by “trying to sell the jets to an entity other than Turkey’s SSB (Presidency of Defense Industries), which has been sanctioned.”
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