Menendez reiterates opposition to sale of F-16 fighters to Turkey

Menendez reiterates opposition to sale of F-16 fighters to Turkey

The chairperson of the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations has reiterated his opposition to the sale of F-16 fighters to Turkey, saying “Turkey has not done enough to be rewarded in this way.”

“I continue to be against the sale of F-16s,” Senator Bob Menendez told state broadcaster ERT, adding that the Erdogan government needs to stop its belligerent behavior towards Greece.

At the same time, he clarified that Congress did not give the green light for the upgrade of the Turkish F-16 missile systems, but for their interoperable means of communication.

He was referring to a recent $259 million deal with Turkey for avionics software upgrades. The approval does not concern the $20 billion request from Turkey for new F-16s and nearly 80 upgrade kits.

Asked about the prospects of Greek-Turkish relations after the elections in Greece and Turkey, Menendez said it would “depend on the results of the elections,” adding that he had always seen that the Greek government wanted to live peacefully with Turkey.

“It is the one who violates the Turkish airspace, it is not the one who invades the territorial waters of Turkey, it does not express itself belligerently with ‘we will come one night’.”

He said that regardless of the outcome of the Greek election, he knows “at least that the current prime minister has a positive attitude. Greece is admired in the US because it does not take a bellicose stance.”

“This is not the case in Erdogan’s Turkey. We will see who will be elected in Turkey. But I hope that the attitude will change, so that NATO allies are true NATO allies, who meet not only the security responsibilities but also the principles and values that NATO calls for, and live peacefully in the region. This will only lead to greater prosperity and wealth,” Menendez said.

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