Washington—Representatives Eliot L. Engel (D-NY), Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and Michael McCaul (R-TX), the Committee’s Ranking Member today welcomed unanimous passage in the United States House of Representatives of their resolution calling on the Turkish government to cancel its planned acquisition of the Russian S–400 air and missile defense system. House Resolution 372 emphasizes the historic alliance with Turkey and urges Turkish President Erdogan to avoid a military relationship with Russia that could jeopardize the U.S.-Turkish partnership and Turkey’s role in NATO.
“We rarely see it in foreign affairs, but this is a black and white issue. There is no middle ground. Either Mr. Erdogan cancels the Russian deal, or he doesn’t. And there is no future for Turkey having both Russian weapons and American F-35s. There’s no third option. There’s no path for mitigation that will allow Turkey to have its cake and eat it too. We cannot risk exposing our national-security technology to Russia,” said Chairman Engel on the House Floor.
“While we are deeply, deeply concerned about our alliance with Turkey, we very much want to rehabilitate our relationship. Both sides of a bilateral partnership need to take steps towards strengthening and preserving that relationship. That is why this resolution expresses full support for the United States Government’s offer to sell Turkey the Patriot system, if Turkey does not acquire the S-400. We want to give Turkey the ability to accommodate its security needs without endangering its place in NATO. Turkey has a clear binary choice between buying Russian S-400s and the U.S. offer to accelerate the delivery of Patriot missiles. I call on Turkey to now step forward and choose the United States and NATO,” said Ranking Member McCaul on the House Floor.
In addition to Chairman Engel and Ranking Member McCaul, the measure’s original cosponsors were Representatives Steny Hoyer (D-MD), House Majority Leader, and Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), House Minority Leader; Nita M. Lowey (D-NY), Chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, and Kay Granger (R-TX), the Committee’s Ranking Member; and Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, and Doug Collins (R-GA), the Committee’s Ranking Member.
The government of Turkey has stated that it could take delivery of the Russian S-400 air and missile defense system as early as July. Section 231 of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act of 2017 (22 U.S.C. 9525) requires sanctions on any person that conducts a significant transaction with the Russian defense or intelligence sectors. Turkey is also seeking to purchase some 100 F-35 aircraft and participates in production of the F-35.
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