Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12), co-chair and co-founder of the Congressional Hellenic Caucus, released the following statement after the House passed the National Defense Authorization Act of 2019 which includes provisions holding Turkey accountable for its aggressions. The Congresswoman represents one of the largest communities of Hellenic Americans in the country.
“I am glad to see that the NDAA conferees agreed that the immediate transfer of F-35s to Turkey should be paused and reassessed. I have joined many colleagues in opposing this transfer.
“There are numerous examples of Turkey’s persistent aggression and destabilizing activity in the Eastern Mediterranean today. Turkey must be held accountable by the U.S. for its provocative behavior that threatens our allies. Turkey continues to intimidate and interfere with the companies operating in Cyprus’s Exclusive Economic Zone to explore and extract natural gas in violation of Cyprus’s sovereign claims to its territory. I am pleased that the United States is making clear that we stand with our allies and that Turkey’s unacceptable behavior needs to stop.”
Included in the NDAA for 2019 is a provision that requires a report on the impact of Turkey’s bad behavior, including an assessment of the U.S. bilateral relationship on U.S. security interests in Turkey, an assessment of Turkey’s participation in the F-35 program, as well as an assessment of the operational and counterintelligence risks posed by the deployment of the S-400 air and missile defense system on weapons systems and platforms operated jointly with Turkey, including the F-35. It prevents delivery of F-35 to Turkey until the report is complete.