Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J. , chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said on Friday that he plans to continue blocking Biden administration Plans to sell military aircraft to Turkey.
As I have made clear time and time again, I am strongly opposed to the Biden administration’s proposed sale of the new F-16 planes to turkey Menendez said in a statement.
“President Erdogan continues to undermine international law, ignore human rights and democratic norms, and engage in alarming and destabilizing behavior in Turkey and against its neighbours. NATO allies.
The Democrat added that he would continue to oppose the deal — still under review — “until Erdogan stops his threats, improves his rights record at home — including freeing journalists and the political opposition — and starts behaving like a trusted ally.”
The $20 billion deal will require congressional approval, which will also be contingent on Turkey approving applications from Sweden and Finland to join NATO in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the State Department advised Congress on Thursday of its intention to proceed with the sale.
Turkey placed the order for the warplanes a little over a year ago.
Menendez said he accepts a proposed sale of 40 F-55s to Greece.
On Saturday, a spokesman for Erdogan called US demands related to the potential sale “endless.”
“If they keep pushing Turkey in other directions by imposing sanctions on F-16s (and) F-35s, and then Turkey retaliates, blaming Turkey again, it’s not fair game,” he said. “Their list of demands seems endless. There is always something going on.”
Reuters contributed to this report.
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