Senator Chris Van Hollen (D) of Maryland announced his decision not to oppose the sale of F-16 fighter jets to Turkey, emphasizing, however, that the neighboring country should remain under close scrutiny.
Van Hollen had expressed his skepticism about selling the fighter jets to Turkey due to regional stability concerns and had previously raised questions about the appropriateness of the sale. This was attributed to Turkey’s actions, including airspace violations, potential aggression in regional conflicts, and the treatment of minorities, such as the Kurds, which had caused apprehension.
The junior senator from Maryland explained that he continued to be concerned about Turkey’s actions towards Greece, Armenia, and Syria. However, after receiving assurances from the U.S. government, he stated that he did not intend to vote against the sale of F-16s by submitting a resolution of disapproval.
Regarding Turkish aggression in the Aegean, he stated, “The (U.S.) government informed me that it continues to closely monitor this issue to encourage ongoing dialogue between Greece and Turkey.” In this context, Sen. Hollen stated that he will remain in open communication with the administration, as it is important for Turkish behavior to stay under the scrutiny of Congress in the coming period.”