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The US Senate and the House of Representatives have reached an agreement on the National Defense Authorization Act, which regulates the defense expenditures of the country for the fiscal year 2019.
As part of the law draft, which has foreseen a yearly defense expenditure of 716 billion US Dollars in 2019, the delivery of F-35 jets to Turkey has been temporarily stopped.
According to the agreement, after the law draft is separately voted at the Senate and House of Representatives, it will be submitted to the US President Donald Trump for approval. In 90 days after the law draft is approved by the President and becomes a law, the US Department of Defense has to prepare a report regarding the state of the US-Turkey relations and submit it to the Congress.
In the report to be prepared by the Department of Defense, it is expected that there will be evaluations regarding the impact of Turkey's purchase of S-400s from Russia on the US-Turkey relations and the effects of F-35 jets being taken out of the new generation fighter jets program on the US industry.
In a letter that he addressed to the US Congress on July 7, 2018, the US Secretary of Defense James Mattis wrote that the delivery of F-35 jets to Turkey should not be stopped, stating that such an act would damage the supply chain. In the letter, he also expressed his concerns regarding the political developments in Turkey, including the arrest of Pastor Brunson.
Turkey has been a part of the F-35 program since the early 1999. As reported by BBC, Turkey has ordered 116 F-35 jets, whose total payment is 25 billion US Dollars. (HK/SD)
* Photograph: Atılgan Özdil - Teksas / AA
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