Chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Robert Menendez, expressed hope for a “different attitude” following elections in Turkey and Greece.
Menendez was in New York, as a guest of the Ionian Federation that honored him with the “Third Ionian Medal of Honor 2023”.
Asked by CNA whether after the elections in Greece and Turkey, the two sides will be able to sit down at the table and resolve their differences under new conditions, Menendez said “I hope things will go better after the elections. Undoubtedly, the Greek Prime Minister has emphasized that he himself has the will to meet his Turkish counterpart on the condition that there is mutual respect, peace and security.”
Menendez added that beyond the elections, there is an understanding that peace and prosperity do not come through conflict but through security. “I hope that this will be the reality after the election, when the rhetoric calms down and there is a different attitude.”
Asked to comment on the election result in Turkey, the Senator underlined that it is the citizens who decide who their leaders are. “I see the results where the opposition alliance still has the ability to influence the decision of Turkish citizens, but it has a narrow margin to do so.”
Asked to comment on Erdogan’s statements against US President Joe Biden, Menendez pointed out that “President Erdogan is doing everything and anything he deems necessary to win. There is a multi-layered process in Turkey. He controls the media, his opponents are in jail. He has the advantage of Turkish rule to support his aims.”
According to Menendez, Erdogan will say and do whatever is necessary to win and we will see what the results will be. But regardless of the results the question is how Turkey will move forward, he went on. “Will it be the NATO ally we always wanted it to be or will it be in turmoil? We will see that” he said.
Regarding the sale of the F-35, he emphasized that he has already signed. “We are in the negotiations between the Hellenic Republic and the (US) government for the acquisition process, but the approvals have already been given, so they are coming” he concluded.