Nicole Malliotakis on SKAI: Cross-party effort to “block” Turkey’s F-16s

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Nicole Malliotakis on SKAI: Cross-party effort to “block” Turkey’s F-16s

The Republican member of Greek origin, Nicole Malliotaki, asks the American president to take a more decisive stance towards leaders like Erdogan.

The Greek-born spoke to SKAI and Christodoulos Athanasatos about the cross-party effort that has been made in Congress to prevent the sale of F-16 to Turkey Republican MP, Nicole Malliotakis. However, she asks the American president for a more decisive attitude towards leaders like Erdogan.

Christodoulos Athanasatos – SKAI Journalist: Last summer, you supported the bipartisan amendment that would have barred President Biden from selling US F-16 fighter jets or modernization components to Turkey if it continues its aggression in the eastern Mediterranean region. Are you concerned that President Biden and other officials, despite violations and escalation by Turkey, continue to support the modernization of the F-16?

Nicole Malliotaki – Republican Member of Parliament: I am concerned, and I think this is an ongoing issue, that we need to be vigilant about and inform our colleagues in Congress about what this would mean for our allies, particularly Greece and Cyprus and Israel. What we have done is work in a cross-party way. Rep. Chris Pappas of New Hampshire and Gus Bilirakis of Florida. I tried persistently to get this line through the House. In fact, this amendment would not have passed without Republican support. And Gus Bilirakis and I cast over 60 votes to ensure that this amendment passed. And now we need to work with our colleagues in the Senate to make sure they write the final Act.
I think it would be very difficult for President Biden to assure Congress that this particular equipment and fighter jets would not be used against Greece.

Christodoulos Athanasatos – SKAI Journalist: Do you think the United States has done enough to hold President Erdogan accountable? Even after his meeting with President Biden, was he aggressive against Greece?

Nicole Malliotaki – Republican Member of Parliament: Yes, I think what we are seeing is a weak foreign policy from our president. We need a stronger leader who can abandon these leaders who are just trying to revive their empires, their ancient empires. Right now, you see it with China and in the South China Sea and its aggression with Taiwan. You see it obviously, with Russia and Ukraine. And now you see it with Erdogan and his rhetoric about the Greek islands. I think what we need is a stronger president who will make sure that we put America’s interests as well as the interests of our allies above all else.

Christodoulos Athanasatos – SKAI Journalist: In the event of further escalation between Greece and Turkey, how should Congress and US officials in general act?

Nicole Malliotaki – Republican Member of Parliament: I think we need to work with our NATO allies to ensure that no member bullies other members. We are supposed to work together for a common goal of stability, peace and prosperity throughout our territory. I think we have to work to prevent the administration when there are proposals like this arms sale. The most important thing we can do right now is also to continue our partnerships with Cyprus and Greece in terms of military equipment, energy and other strategic economic partnerships.

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