HPA: MPs demand that F-35s not be delivered to Turkey

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A group of 44 members of the US Congress is calling for the suspension of the planned delivery of F-35 fighter jets to Turkey in a letter sent to the Minister of National Defense, James Mattis, as Ankara is reportedly undermining US strategic interests.

For Cyprus, the US MPs describe in detail Turkish actions that question the right of the Republic of Cyprus to proceed with the exploration and exploitation of natural resources located within its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

"More than 40 years after the illegal occupation of Cyprus, the violations of Cypriot sovereignty by Turkey have increased. "We should include the recent directive on (Turkish) military ships to block Italian ships, which had obtained permission from the Cypriot authorities to conduct gas exploration in the exclusive economic zone of Cyprus", they state.

They add that "Turkey has stated that it will harden its stance by sending its own drilling ships to deal with those recently sent by ExxonMobil".

In their letter, US lawmakers cited a number of specific examples, which show that Turkish foreign policy is in complete conflict with US interests, while arguing that undermining democratic institutions and human rights abuses in Turkey are not in line with the values ​​and principles that the United States stands for.

"Against the NATO obligations and expectations that a responsible ally must direct, Turkey is working systematically to undermine US interests around the world. Repeated military action against US interests, the continuing degradation of human rights and democracy under President (Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan) and the clear intention to build a strategic partnership with Russia have relations ”, according to the letter.

US lawmakers point out that Turkey is not only cooperating with US rivals in the region, but is turning aggressively against their allies such as Greece, Cyprus and Israel. "Turkey continues to provoke Greece and commit violations on its territory. The embolization of a Greek ship by a Turkish coastguard is one of the last (examples) of this long-standing dispute ", the text notes.

"As for Israel, the letter records Turkey's aggressive rhetoric and points to the fact that Ankara recalled its ambassadors from Tel Aviv and Washington in protest of the relocation of the US embassy to Jerusalem.

"Erdogan has targeted Israel with his rhetoric calling it a 'terrorist state', while in retaliation for the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem, he has called back Turkish ambassadors from the US and Israel."

Regarding Ankara's approach to Moscow, the letter of the House of Representatives refers extensively to the issue of the purchase of the Russian S-400 weapons system, which raises both issues of interoperability with other NATO systems and fears of the transfer of know-how. of F-35s on the Russian side.

In particular, the letter states that "the growing ties between Russia and Turkey and their shared drive for an authoritarian government that does not respect the independence of other peoples, as well as domestic human rights abuses, are fundamentally at odds with of the USA. "It is inconceivable to hand over the technology of the F-35s to the upgraded Russian-Turkish military cooperation."

US lawmakers also say Turkey's strategic cooperation with Iran and Russia in Syria jeopardizes vital US national security interests as it allows Iran to gain greater strategic depth in the Middle East. At the same time, there are doubts as to whether Ankara will use the F-35s responsibly, as its stance so far has contributed to further aggravation of the humanitarian crisis in Syria, acting as an additional destabilizing force that poses obstacles to achieving the goal of elimination of terrorism in the region.

"Furthermore, we have no confidence that Turkey will use F-35s responsibly in the region. Επί Turkey's attack on Afrin, northern Syria, has killed hundreds of civilians and displaced more than a hundred thousand others.… The Turkish delegation and its military "Adventures in Syria have given advantages to the Islamic State (IS), Iran and Russia, as well as to extremist rebel organizations, working against the United States."

Special reference is made to the threats made by President Erdogan himself against the US military presence in Syria, as it is noted that "Erdogan's outrageous threat to attack US troops in Syria is a good reason to prevent the surrender of any Turkish military "especially when it comes to the most advanced generation of fighter jets."

The letter describes Turkey as a country "exporting violent authoritarianism": it recalls the incident that took place outside the Turkish embassy in Washington when Turkish President Erdogan's bodyguards attacked Kurdish activists. "This outrageous attack and Turkey's decision not to cooperate with the ensuing investigation demonstrates President Erdogan's level of contempt for the United States and our democratic values, and exposes Turkey as a country that practices and exports violent authoritarianism." members of the US House of Representatives.


Source: AlphaNews.live