Menendez: ‘No’ to new arms sales to Turkey unless stance on S-400s changed

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“From my point of view, I can not see new sales of (US) weapons systems in Turkey, unless there is a dramatic change in behavior on the subject of S-400“, Stressed the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Robert Menendez during the hearing to ratify the appointment of the new US Ambassador to Turkey.

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The election of the former Republican senator Jeff Flake is the first political position on the position of ambassador to Turkey in the last 40 years, reports APE BPE.

The latter recognized her complexity its relationship with Turkey, which it described as a necessary ally for the United States. It is worth noting, however, that he had to devote most of his testimony to answering questions related to Turkey’s destabilizing actions and the democratic slide inside the neighboring country. In this light, he made special reference to the negative role played by Ankara in Nagorno-Karabakh and in the Eastern Mediterranean.

I “blame” Turkey for its stance in Cyprus

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Regarding Cyprus, Jeff Flake clarified that there is no two state solution and pointed out that recent statements and actions on the part opening of Varosia constitute a clear violation of UN Security Council resolutions.

On this basis, he welcomed the fact that both the US government and the UN spoke openly and condemned the Turkish actions in Varos.

Reflection on the persistence of the S-400 issue

In addition, the candidate for US ambassador to Turkey stressed that the acquisition of the Russian S-400 system remains a Thorn in the bilateral relationship, as this is an action that is contrary to the commitments made by all the countries of the Alliance.

Therefore, he clarified that the sanctions CAATSA (Law on Dealing with America’s Opponents Through Sanctions) will remain on the table until Ankara decides to abandon the S-400 system permanently.

In addition, he did not fail to send the message that any major new purchase of Russian defense equipment will lead to the imposition and new sanctions.

At this point, Mr Flake said he would work to make new US weapons systems available for purchase in Turkey. However, Senator Menendez recalled that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was called upon to play a role in this process and said that not There will be new sales in Turkey if the S-400 issue is not clarified first.

Armenian Genocide

It is recalled that as a senator Jeff Flake had repeatedly refuse to support its recognition Genocide of the Armenians.

However, during the hearing he argued that recognizes now the genocide and that she intends to honor the celebration of her memory.

The Kurds of Syria are an important partner of the USA

At the request of the senator Chris Van Hollen, Mr. Flake acknowledged that Syrian Kurds is an important US partner who catalyzed the victory against the Islamic State. However, he refrained from commenting on the campaign carried out by Turkey against them or from taking a position on how he intends to manage this issue, according to the APE BPE.

Senator Van Hollen then recalled that Ankara was indifferent to US reactions limited to rhetoric and wondered what US moves could have a tangible impact on Turkey’s behavior. For his part, Jeff Flake assessed that the imposition of sanctions, which had an economic impact on the Turkish defense industry, combined with the non-sale of new weapons systems constitute tangible actions which have managed to attract the attention of Turkey.

The Positive Agenda with Turkey

Describing Turkey as a “necessary ally” for the United States, the ambassador-designate said there were areas where Washington-Ankara interests are identified.

He even made a special reference to the defense sector, saying that cooperation with Turkey allows the US to defend NATO’s Eastern Wing.

Finally, he noted that the bilateral relationship is expanding beyond from defense cooperation, highlighting the important economic dimension that, as he said, characterizes it.

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