Secretary of State Anthony Blinken has assured the Senate Robert Menendez that the Biden administration is not going to override the veto (congressional holding) for the sale of F-16 to Turkey, Menendez told the 8th annual conference of the PSEKA.
The chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee of the Senate, during his speech at the 8th annual conference of the PSEKA, held in Washington, referred to the conversation he had with Blinken a few months ago, after the meeting the Secretary of State had with Turkey’s Foreign Minister.
Referring to the conversation he had with Anthony Blinken, Senator Menendez said “I asked Secretary Blinken directly because he met with the Turkish Foreign Minister a few months ago. I asked him both before and after the meeting: “will you override the Senate’s objections to the sales to Turkey and especially to the F-16s?”.
'I have other tools just in case, but I don’t think I’ll need them, nor do I expect any conflict for that matter. It would be foolish for the government to do so'
And he answered without hesitation, the Senator went on, “just as I said to the Turkish Foreign Minister, I will say the same to you. I have no intention of overriding your objections to the arms sale.” And although Cavusoglu responded by pressing him, “if you agree to this sale to us why don’t you bypass his objections?”, Blinken replied “I won’t”.
Also, Senator Menendez explained that the government technically can override lawmakers’ vetoes. Doing so, however, would go against a long-standing tradition, as only once has the White House overridden the will of Congress for a specific sale.
He further expressed his satisfaction over the response and assurances offered to him by the Biden administration. However, he warned that even in the opposite case he would still have tools that he would not hesitate to use.
“I expected that this would be the answer (of the Foreign Ministry), but I made it clear that I am glad to hear this answer. Of course, I have other tools just in case, but I don’t think I’ll need them, nor do I expect any conflict for that matter. It would be foolish for the government to do so,” the senator stressed.