US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair still opposes F-16 sales to Turkey
US Senator and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair Bob Menendez is not going to drop his opposition to the sale of F-16 fighter jets to Turkey, Politico congressional reporter Andrew Desiderio said on his Twitter account.
More news from Menendez — he says he’s *not* going to drop his opposition to selling F-16s to Turkey.— Andrew Desiderio (@AndrewDesiderio) July 12, 2022
Biden said at the NATO Summit that he supports selling the F-16s to Turkey.
But he can’t do it without approval from Menendez and Risch.
US President Joe Biden supported the sale at a NATO Summit in Madrid at the end of last month and said he was confident the congressional approval needed for the sale can be obtained.
Senate Foreign Relations Committee is the route through which the proposed sale must make its way to the Senate for approval. Menendez has the power to stymie the deal in his role as committee chair.
US Representative Chris Pappas has introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) requiring strict oversight of F-16 fighter jets and related equipment over to Turkey.
“I find it very difficult to agree on the sale of other military equipment to Turkey,” Menendez in late May said, referring to Turkey’s request to modernize its F-16 fighter jets and upgrade its fleet. “Relations with [Turkish president Recep Tayyip] Erdogan are difficult, they are not the relations we expected.”
Menendez said back in November “he was not deterred that they may go somewhere else” referring to the possibility that Turkey may change direction to Russia to buy fighter jets