F-16 in Turkey: Menendez clear – No sale unless Erdogan’s aggression stops

“Let me be clear: As chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, I will not approve any F-16 sales to Turkey until Erdogan stops his campaign of aggression across the region. End of story”.

With this statement, Senator Robert Menendez attempted to clarify the landscape regarding the position he is going to take after the removal of the two amendments that imposed conditions on Turkey to acquire the F-16 fighters.

The amendments in question were filed by Senators Menendez and Chris Van Hollen in the US Senate Defense Budget (NDAA) bill. However, the corresponding amendment filed by Rep. Chris Papas to the House bill has already been outvoted. This practically means that the final text of the defense budget will be formed through negotiations that will take place between the two legislative bodies after the end of the mid-term elections.

However, as Robert Menendez was quick to explain, the amendments are only one of the tools available to shape American foreign policy in the Eastern Mediterranean. “An amendment to the US Defense Budget Bill (NDAA) is just one of the tools at our disposal to advance US interests in the Eastern Mediterranean,” he noted.

In this way, the US senator made it clear that even if no amendment is adopted, he reserves the right to veto the approval of any future contract to upgrade the Turkish F-16s. It is recalled that Robert Menendez has this right as chairman of the Senate Committee on International Relations.

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