Menendez Opposes F-16 Sale to Turkey Despite its Promise to Buy Russian Jets if Sale Falls Through

JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, New Jersey—Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Sen. Bob Menendez opposes Turkey’s Biden reportedly saying he would do “his best.” But Congress may still stand in the way when the proposal reaches Capitol Hill.

“It’s not Turkey, it’s Erdogan,” Menendez said. “At the end of the day, he needs to change course. We’ve given him off ramps.”

The New Jersey Democrat has the power to hold up foreign military sales and stymie the formal notification to Congress. Erdogan, for his part, has said publicly that he would be willing to go to Russia for new jets if the U.S. delays.

The threat did not move Menendez.

“I am not deterred that they may go somewhere else,” Menendez said. “If they do so, then, you know, the interoperability gets diminished dramatically at NATO, and they further erode their position.”