MIL-OSI USA: Senator Peters Votes in Favor of Resolution Disapproving of U.S. Sale of F-16 Fighter Jets to Turkey

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US Senate News:

Source: United States Senator for Michigan Gary Peters

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) voted in favor of a resolution disapproving of the sale of American F-16fighter jets to Turkey. Peters’ vote of disapproval is in response to Turkey’s continued diplomatic and military support of the Azerbaijani government. In addition to launching a deadly military offensive on ethnic Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh in September 2023 – forcing more than 100,000 people to flee the region – the Azerbaijani government is responsible for committing numerous human rights violations against Armenians, including unlawful killings, torture, illegal detention of political prisoners, and restrictions on Armenians’ freedom of movement.

“The Azerbaijani government continues to pose a grave threat to the Armenian people,” said Senator Peters. “If we sell these fighter jets to Turkey, there’s a real risk that they end up in the hands of the Azerbaijani government and be used to further their campaign of aggression against ethnic Armenians. I remain a staunch supporter of NATO – and I firmly back efforts to strengthen our alliances across Europe. But I cannot support this sale of military equipment that threatens the safety of the Armenian people.”

In November, the Senate unanimously passed Peters’ bipartisan legislation – the Armenian Protection Act – which would prevent the U.S. from providing security assistance to Azerbaijan for two years. Peters introduced the legislation in September 2023 in response to the Azerbaijani government’s military offensive and ongoing attacks on ethnic Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh. This effort came after Peters visited the Armenia-Azerbaijan border and viewed firsthand the 10-month long blockade of the Lachin corridor that caused a humanitarian crisis for Armenians in the region. Prior to Senate passage, Peters delivered remarks on the Senate floor calling on his colleagues to support his legislation. Peters additionally raised his concerns regarding the Administration’s continued military assistance to Azerbaijan in a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin in March 2023. Peters also recently helped introduce a bipartisan resolution to require that the Secretary of State provide a report on Azerbaijan’s human rights practices, including the concerning allegations of human rights violations committed against ethnic Armenians.