Double message to Turkey from Menendez and Tsuni with interviews on Mega Channel
Influential US Senator Bob Menendez reiterated his high-profile objections to the sale of new F-16s and the upgrading of Turkey's current fleet of the US-made warplane, in an exclusive soon-to-be broadcast interview with Mega Channel.
Menendez (D-NJ), the chairman of the powerful Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, has attracted the Erdogan government's ire over this opposition to the procurement, as well as his sharp criticism of Ankara's provocations in the Aegean, the eastern Mediterranean and the continuing Turkish occupation of one-third of Cyprus' territory. Turkish anger, in fact, was again expressed by Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, after his unproductive meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken last week in Washington.
In his comments to a Mega Channel current affairs program, Menendez made it clear that he'll oppose the F-16 deal if Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan continues his steady diet of threats.
In fielding questions by journalist Niki Lymberaki, the US political leader underlined that Erdogan-led Turkey is threatening Greece, a NATO member-state, without any reason or justification. He said this situation makes it "problematic" to sell military hardware to Ankara when the latter repeatedly expresses such intentions.
Moreover, Menendez called on the US State Department to change its stance when answering questions on Greek-Turkish disputes, stressing that American diplomacy shouldn't call on both sides to ease tensions and resolve differences through dialogue based on international law when only one side is the aggressor. Along these lines, he said it was a mistake by the State Department and NATO to follow a policy of "equal distances" between Greece and Turkey, when only the latter is...