WASHINGTON, DC – The Hellenic American Leadership Council (HALC) and the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) lauded the completion of the 60th Annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The NDAA for Fiscal Year 2021 included a provision that effectively mandates that the United States imposes sanctions on Turkey.
In the 115th Congress, ANCA and HALC launched a joint advocacy initiative to remove Turkey from the F35 program and to hold Turkey accountable for violating the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA). The ANCA-HALC advocacy campaigns warned members of Congress against the dangers of failing to hold Turkey accountable and allowing it to have weapons that President Erdogan may turn against our allies – including Greece, Cyprus, Israel, and Armenia – and possibly even U.S. forces.
Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), who played a key role in the NDAA amendment, tweeted: “Incredibly proud to have helped secure inclusion of a provision in the NDAA to do what President Trump refused to do: Officially determine on behalf of the US government that Turkey took delivery of Russian S-400 defense systems and therefore will be sanctioned under existing law.”
Endy Zemenides, HALC’s Executive Director praised Senator Menendez’s leadership and noted: “It took a while but the days of whitewashing Turkey’s consistent destabilizing behavior, violations of American and international law, and lack of reliability as an ally are over. Congress is sending a clear signal to the incoming Biden Administration that ‘Accountability’ and not ‘Appeasement’ must be the key to US-Turkey policy.”
“The adoption of this key NDAA provision – long sought by the ANCA and our HALC and IDC allies – holds Erdogan accountable for his increasingly reckless and anti-American actions,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “It is our hope that the incoming Biden Administration will reflect and reinforce this broad bipartisan consensus, bringing to an end a shameful era in which the first instinct of U.S. diplomacy has been to erase every Turkish sin, excuse every Turkish offense, and appease even the most irrational Turkish demand.”