The recent resignation of US Senator Bob Menendez, who chaired the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and had been critical of Turkey’s potential acquisition of F-16 jets, has prompted Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to re-emphasise Turkey’s negotiating position with the United States regarding Sweden’s NATO membership.
US Senator Bob Menendez stepped down after being faced with federal corruption charges related to an alleged bribery scheme involving Egypt.
Erdoğan’s remarks come in the context of Turkey’s wider diplomatic initiatives, which include talks about Sweden’s potential NATO membership. “The F-16 issue isn’t solely reliant on one individual”, Erdoğan said, highlighting a range of factors that could influence ongoing negotiations.
The Turkish President also noted that Turkey’s relations with other NATO members and the European Union could affect the final outcome, hinting at potential additional conditions as Turkey has called for EU customs benefits and visa-free travel.
The Turkish parliament has yet to vote on Sweden’s NATO membership, and Erdoğan indicated that Turkey’s decision would be significantly influenced by the US’s commitment to the F-16 sale, effectively linking the two issues.