Democratic Senator Bob Menendez says that the US administration must stop acting towards Ankara as “we wish it were” and start acting towards it “as it is” under Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Menendez, who is the ranking member on the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and the author of the pivotal Eastern Mediterranean Security and Energy Partnership Act, made his comments in an interview with The Greek Current, a podcast by the Hellenic American Leadership Council.
“Where Congress does have tension with this administration is when it comes to holding Turkey accountable, which it has refused to do,” he said, accusing Turkey of “interfering” in Greece and Cyprus’ territorial waters and their “rights to explore their exclusive economic zones.”
“That’s one of the things I keep trying to bring to the administration’s attention: that we cannot continue to act towards Turkey as we wish it were. We have to act towards Turkey as it is under Erdogan,” Menendez said in the interview, which took place on Sunday.
The East Med Act proves strong bipartisan support for “prioritizing the relationship with Greece and Cyprus,” Menendez said, expressing concern that US President Donald Trump “takes pride in his close relationship with Erdogan and obviously seems to enjoy interacting with authoritarians.”
“What’s worse, is that the US doesn’t appear to be getting anything out of it,” he added.