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March 5, 2013 1:37 pm

Report: Turkish Diplomats Say Shipment of Free Navy Vessels from U.S. Only Halted Temporarily

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The USS Halyburton. Photo: Wikipedia

In the wake of comments made by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan that Zionism is a “crime against humanity,” Turkish sources have told Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily News that they still expect the delivery of two naval vessels to the country despite a “technical” holdup.

According to Turkish diplomatic sources the bill that would have allowed for the delivery of the ships, which are to be donated, failed to be ratified  by the Senate before the end of the legislative term on Jan. 3rd because “Debates on the issue of the fiscal cliff kept the House of Representatives occupied for a long time. Thus, when the bill came to the Senate, there was a time pressure.”

Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, chairwoman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, introduced the bill to the House on Dec. 11, 2012. The U.S. House of Representatives approved the bill on Dec. 31, 2012. The ships in question are the USS Halyburton and the USS Thach.

The bill is expected to be re-introduced to the House in the next legislative term, according to sources who spoke to Hurriyet.  One source also rejected rumors that the bill was blocked thanks to efforts by Greek, Armenian and Jewish lobbies. “There was no political decision involved, this was solely a technical matter.”

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