Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Congress rejects surplus U.S. frigates for Turkey

Turkey has failed to win U.S. approval for surplus
naval ships.
Officials said Congress failed to approve a Turkish request for two U.S.
Navy frigates in 2012. They said legislation introduced in and passed by the
House did not reach the Senate amid a heavy domestic schedule.
The Greek lobby in Congress has opposed the frigate deal with Turkey.
Ankara has warned of deploying its Navy to stop energy projects by
Israel and the Republic of Cyprus.
“There wasn’t enough time for the Senate to approve the bill before the
end of the legislative term,” an official said.
Under the bill, the Turkish Navy would have received two surplus guided
missile frigates for free. The vessels were identified as USS Halyburton and the USS Thach, retired from the U.S. military.

The surplus navy legislation was introduced by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen,
chairwoman of the House Middle East and North Africa subcommittee on Dec. 11, 2012. Twenty days later, the House approved the bill, four days before the end of the congressional term on Jan. 3, 2013.
Officials said the administration of President Barack Obama has urged
Congress to approve the frigates for Turkey. They said the legislation would
again be introduced in the House this year.

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