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Washington, D.C. – Congressman Michael McCaul (R-TX), Lead Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, released the following statement on President Erdogan’s visit to Washington.

“President Erdogan’s visit comes during a deeply troubling time in our bilateral relationship. I remain extremely concerned by reports of violence in northern Syria committed by Turkey and Turkish backed forces, including reports of possible war crimes. Turkey must end its incursion in Syria immediately.

“The NATO alliance is critically important for U.S. national security and for the security of our allies. I am disturbed that Turkey has taken numerous recent actions that harm NATO including: their purchase of the Russian S-400 air defense system; spurious charges against U.S. Embassy staff; and rampant jailing of journalists. Earlier this month to address these problems, Chairman Engel and I championed the House-passed legislation to sanction Turkey for purchasing Russian military equipment and invading Syria. President Erdogan must reverse course and recommit to NATO and our bilateral partnership.

“Furthermore, it is imperative that all representatives of the Turkish government respect the United States’ laws, notably the right to peacefully protest. The American people will not tolerate visitors disregarding our laws and violating our founding principles on U.S. soil.”