Sanctions on Turkey part of defense spending deal struck by US lawmakers: report

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President Obama delivers his State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress on Tuesday.

The US House of Representatives has reached an agreement on a defense bill setting policy for the Department of Defense, according to the Bianet news website.

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) calls for sanctions on Turkey over its procurement of the S-400 air defense system from Russia and a “tough response” to North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons.

The $738 billion bill also includes measures to compete with Russia and China and the creation of a “space military force.”

The bill prohibits the transfer of F-35 joint strike fighter jets to Turkey. Washington removed Turkey from the F-35 program in July over the purchase of the S-400s. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, opposing the decision, repeatedly said that Turkey is not only a customer but a producer of the jets.

US President Donald Trump supported Turkey after a meeting with Erdoğan at the G20 summit in late June, criticizing the previous administration for refusing to sell Patriot missiles to Turkey, which led it to buy the S-400s.

The NDAA says the president should impose sanctions on Turkey over the S-400 purchase.

Turkey signed a contract with Russia in April 2017 to acquire the S-400 anti-missile system. The first delivery was made to Turkey in July.

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