WASHINGTON – Chair of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Robert (“Bob”) Menendez expressed his opposition to the sale of new arms to Turkey on Tuesday.
The US Senator spoke of “violations of international norms including overflights of Greek airspace” and territorial waters as “not acceptable”, and said the committee “has jurisdiction over arms sales (…); I find it very difficult to agree.”
Despite its status as a NATO ally, Turkey continues to be the “most persistent and proximate threat to East Mediterranean security and prosperity,” Menendez said, citing the neighboring country’s challenges of Greek sovereignty with provocative overflights in the Aegean Sea. Violating airspace with fighter jets “is simply unacceptable behavior,” he underlined.
He also called for lifting the embargo of arms sales to the Cyprus Republic, calling the current partial embargo “anachronistic”. The full lifting of the embargo will allow Cyprus to “ultimately modernize its defense capabilities and further integrate with EU and US,” he said.