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Bipartisan congressional pressure against Turkey continues

Featured Bipartisan congressional pressure against Turkey continues

The need for a reaction against Turkey is an example of a bipartisan consensus in the US Congress, Democratic senator Chris Van Holen said during a speech he made at the Woodrow Wilson International Center think tank in Washington.

The Maryland Senator castigated Ankara's stance on Russia and the S-400 anti aircraft missile buy from Moscow, stressing that this could endanger the lives of American pilots as well as the security of the US and NATO, in general .

"Turkey wants to buy state-of-the-art F-35 fighter aircraft at the same time as President Erdogan flirts with President Putin and wants to buy the Russian anti-aircraft and anti-ballistic defense system S-400 ... This could give the Russians the opportunity to locate the F-35's vulnerabilities and then exploit these weaknesses by putting our pilots at risk and the security of the US and NATO ... It is outrageous to have an ally in NATO that is trying to keep and both doors  open."

This concern was one of the main reasons that led Mr Van Holen to work with Senator Lindsey Graham to table an amendment to two budget bills that now link the issue of the F-35 delivery to Turkey with the issue of its buying the S-400 system.

"That's why I worked with Senator Lindsey Graham by tabling amendments to both the Defense Budget Bill and the Budget Bill on Businesses Abroad ... (The amendment) was very clear. It says Turkey can get the F-35, but only if the government certifies that Turkey will not buy the S-400.

Finally, the Senator clarified that Congress would continue to put pressure on the issue and expressed the expectation that all parties involved would work together to keep alive the amendment included in the Senate budget bill.