House Committee on Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce is calling on the State Department to reject a proposed $1.2 million sale of semi-automatic weapons and ammunition to the Turkish Department of the Security of the President.
In a letter written to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson Thursday, Royce cited the recent attacks by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s armed security detail on peaceful protestors outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence in Washington, D.C.
“Many Committee Members remain deeply concerned about this incident, as evidenced by our passage last week of House Resolution 354, which notes the unprofessional and brutal conduct of the Turkish security conduct, and calls for the responsible individuals to be charged and prosecuted under U.S. law,” Royce wrote.
Nine people were injured and two arrested during the altercation, according to NBC News.
“Accordingly, all defense transfers to any Turkish agencies involved in the May 16 incident should be suspended pending a satisfactory resolution of this matter,” Royce said.
The Turkish government alleged that the protesters were affiliated with terrorist groups, adding that they hope to avoid violent confrontations in the future.
“The violence and injuries were the result of this unpermitted, provocative demonstration,” read a statement from the Turkish embassy said in a statement shortly after the attack. “We hope that, in the future, appropriate measures will be taken to ensure that similar provocative actions causing harm and violence do not occur.”
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