Senator Bob Menendez, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has called on US President Donald Trump to cancel any invitation to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to the White House until he commits himself to upholding democratic values.
Menendez’s comments were made during a speech on the Senate Floor in which he made the case for a recalibration of the relationship between US and NATO-ally Turkey due to Ankara’s aggressive behavior in its wider region and the dramatic backsliding of democracy during Erdogan’s rule.
“The photo of Trump and Erdogan in the Oval Office will not only be the nail in the coffin for any Kurdish aspirations to live in peace and security – it will also be the death knell for any credibility the US hopes to maintain with any combat partners in the future,” Menendez said.
“President Trump, I urge you to cancel this invitation… Do not ruin our reputation further by fawning over yet another authoritarian leader,” he said.
“It’s time to challenge Erdogan to live up to NATO’s values and to respect the international order. It’s time to stop enabling Turkey to be a bad actor. It’s time for the Senate to act.”