Reps. Maloney Sherman Palone Call for Hearings on Turkish Arms Transfers

WASHINGTON–Three members of Congress joined together this week to call for a "full and vigorous" investigation of evidence that Turkey has violated the Arms Export Control Act by sending US arms to Azerbaijan and Turkish-occupied areas of Cyprus–reported the Armenian National Committee of America.

In a July 9 letter to their House colleagues–Representatives Frank Pallone (D-NJ)–Brad Sherman (D-Calif.)–and Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) warned of the dangers that illegal Turkish arms transfers pose to US foreign policy and national security interests.

They referred–in particular–to Turkey’s "long record of ignoring international law and the will of the international community," citing Turkey’s policies toward Cyprus and Armenia as two leading examples of this pattern.

"We share the concerns raised by Representatives Pallone–Sherman–and Maloney over the destabilizing impact of illegal Turkish arms transfers and join with them in calling upon Chairman Gilman to hold hearings on Turkey’s violations of the Arms Export Control Act.

Responsible Congressional oversight in this area is long overdue," said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian.

The authors of the letter encouraged their colleagues to join them in writing to Congressman Ben Gilman (R-NY)–the Chairman of the International Relations Committee–to formally request a Congressional investigation and official hearings on this matter.

In the text of their proposed letter to Chairman Gilman–they explained that "any transfer of US weapons to a third country without the approval of the US government would be a violation of the Arms Export Control Act.

The US is required to place a freeze on arms sales to any country found to be in violation of the Act."

Earlier last week–the ANCA alerted members of Congress that–after more than three years of delays–the Administration had begun delivery to Turkey of advanced deep-strike ATACMS missiles.

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