Erdogan on F-16 sale and Menendez's resignation: "Not just about him"
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addressed the F-16 sale to Turkey from the US, amidst the temporary resignation of American Senator Bob Menendez, who has been vocal in his opposition to the sale and is now facing bribery allegations.
"One of our most significant concerns regarding the F-16s was the activities of US Senator Bob Menendez against our country. Therefore, our Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan is closely monitoring this process. Just a few days ago, our Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan met with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in the United States. These discussions are still ongoing. But now is an opportunity to turn this situation into an advantage and perhaps expedite the process regarding the F-16.” Erdogan said, but he added cautiously: “It's not just about the F-16; Menendez and those who share his mindset are obstructing us in all other matters as well. While Menendez's exit benefits us, the F-16 issue is not solely dependent on him."
He concluded: "We are now expecting a clear response from the US. We hope to receive the positive outcome we are waiting for without further delay."
Senator Menendez, who is accused of accepting bribes from three businessmen in New Jersey, has vehemently denied any wrongdoing and has announced that he will not resign from his position as a senator. However, following the release of the indictment against him, he temporarily stepped down from his role as the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
The F-16 sale to Turkey has been a contentious issue, and Senator Menendez's vocal opposition and his legal troubles have added another layer of complexity to the matter. Erdogan's remarks indicate Turkey's desire to move forward with the sale and its hope for a swift resolution, while also acknowledging that the issue goes beyond Senator Menendez's actions. The situation remains fluid as diplomatic efforts continue to address the concerns and controversies surrounding the F-16 deal.