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    Senators Warily Allow F-16 Sale to Turkey as Part of NATO Expansion Agreement. ‘A Deal’s a Deal’

    Senators Warily Allow F-16 Sale to Turkey as Part of NATO Expansion Agreement. ‘A Deal's a Deal'

    WASHINGTON — U.S. senators declined on Thursday to block the sale of F-16s to , despite voicing deep disdain for Turkey's conduct as an ally. They were upholding an unofficial bargain that Turks would get the fighter jets if they stopped blocking Sweden's accession to .

    “A deal's a deal,” said Idaho Sen. Jim Risch, the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

    “Call it quid pro quo,” Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul, who introduced the resolution to try to block the sale, told fellow senators. “That sounds better than extortion.”

    The Senate voted 13 to 79 to reject Paul's proposal.

    Along with the Democratic committee chairman, Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland, Risch took the Senate floor before the vote to acknowledge some of the many U.S. objections to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government: its human rights record, its attacks on U.S. allies in Syria, its backing for offensives by Azerbaijan on an ethnic Armenian enclave, and Turkey's ties with on military deals and other matters.

    Nevertheless, the Republican and Democratic senior foreign policy leaders argued, adding Sweden to NATO was too important to the overall strategic interests of the Western military alliance and to the U.S. to allow fellow NATO member Turkey to spoil it.

    Sweden, and Finland, sought to join NATO in the wake of Russia's 2022 invasion of . The United States and the majority of other NATO allies…

    Continue Reading This Article At Military.com

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