Senators move to block F-35 delivery to Turkey over American pastor
The United States senators on Thursday put forward a new resolution to block new generation fighter jets F-35 Lightining II to Turkey over the American Pastor Andrew Brunson imprisonment case, Washington's paper the Hill reported.
One of the co-sponsors of the bill, Sen. James Lankford took Twitter to announce the bill. Senator wrote, he along with "
@SenThomTillis, @SenatorShaheen & I today intro’d a bill to prevent the transfer of F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft to Turkey. This technology is too risky in Erdogan’s hands."
Under the U.S.-led, multinational Joint Strike Fighter program, Turkey has committed to buy 116 of the F-35A variant.
Also, some parts of F-35 fighter jets have been produced in Turkey.
“Furthermore, the Turkish government continues to move closer and closer to Russia, as they hold an innocent American pastor in prison to use him as a pawn in political negotiations. The United States does not reward hostage-taking of American citizens; such action instead will be met with the kind of punitive measures this bill would enact.”
U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson, incarcerated in Turkey since October 2016, burst into tears at the first hearing of his trial on terrorism charges in Turkey on April 16th.
The U.S. pastor is on trial for aiding and abetting the Fethullah Gulen movement, an Islamist movement that Turkey blames for masterminding a coup attempt in July 2016 and labels a terrorist organization. He denies the charges, which carry a prison sentence of 35 years. In his statement to the court, Brunson once more proclaimed his innocence.