Congressional leaders have blocked major U.S. arms sales to Turkey for almost two years in response to Ankara’s purchase of Russian S-400 missile systems, which the United States says threatens the F-35 fighter jet’s stealth capabilities. Turkey was subsequently ejected from the joint F-35 programme.
The congressional hold on arms sales, first reported last week by Defense News, has also impacted other key priorities of the Turkish military sector including structural upgrades to its F-16 fighter jets and Turkey’s $1.5 billion sale of attack helicopters to Pakistan.
Concerned by the continued delay of the sale to Pakistan, previously unreported filings required by the U.S. Foreign Agents Registration Act show that the government-owned Turkish Aerospace Industries hired one of Ankara’s go-to U.S. law firms, Greenberg Traurig LLP, and its frequent subcontractor, Capital Counsel LLC, to lobby the relevant congressional leaders and the White House to secure the requisite export licences.
According to the contract, Greenberg Traurig and its subcontractor will be paid a monthly retainer of $25,000 to conduct meetings “with all relevant Committees in Congress, including meetings with the Chairmen, Ranking Members and the members of Senate Foreign Relations Committee and House Foreign Affairs Committee to ensure United States legal and governmental compliance for the sale of helicopter parts for the T129 ATAK helicopter to the Pakistan Army Aviation Corps (PAAC) or to any other third party”. (end of excerpt)
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