Changing conditions on selling F-16s to Turkey shakes Greece
Reports that the US Senate removed conditions seen as favorable to Greece from a proposed deal to sell F-16s to Turkey have rocked politics in Athens.
The removal of the provisions sought by pro-Greek lobbyists, which Turkish officials strongly objected to, marks another serious defeat for the foreign policy of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, which turned Greece into the "faithful and predictable ally" which gives everything without asking for anything in return, said the main opposition SYRIZA-PS party in a statement.
The news proved, once again, that Greeks should not trust their so-called “powerful allies,” said the Communist Party of Greece (KKE).
The news demolished the triumphal narrative pushed by the government after last week’s Prague summit claiming that "the US, NATO, and EU are the guarantors of Greece's sovereign rights against Turkish provocations," a statement added.
"The US, NATO, and EU, as demonstrated every time, have their own interests and goals,” the party said.
Also responding to claims by some Russian and Greek news outlets that Russia could upgrade its relations with the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), the SYRIZA-PS party said: “The Mitsotakis government is becoming more and more dangerous for national interests.”
The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was founded nine years after a 1974 Turkish military operation on the island, launched to protect Turkish Cypriots from ethic violence amid a coup seeking to make the island part of Greece.
Neither Greece nor the Greek Cypriot administration of Southern Cyprus recognizes the TRNC.
Pushing back at the criticisms, government spokesman Yiannis Economou stressed that the future of the measure on selling US F-16s to Turkey is uncertain.
“The balance of power in the field with Turkey has changed in Greece's favor, due to the government's choices,” he claimed.
On Tuesday, two amendments making potential F-16 sales to Turkey contingent on a series of conditions were reportedly removed from the Senate version of the annual US defense spending bill.
The conditions included requiring the president to inform Congress of “concrete steps” he has taken to ensure the warplanes “are not used by Turkey for repeated unauthorized territorial overflights of Greece or military operations against United States allies."
After the Senate passes the bill, it will be made into a joint text with a previous version passed within the House of Representatives before it is sent to US President Joe Biden's desk to be signed into law.