US senators delivered a serious blow to relations between the two nations when they backed a bill that would allow Turkey to be sanctioned over a weapons deal with Russia and its operation in Syria, Ankara said.
The approval of the sanctions bill by the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations is “a new incident of disrespect to our sovereign decisions about our national security,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Thursday.
The ministry slammed the legislation as being “beyond damaging to the US-Turkey relations,” urging the US lawmakers to change their attitude towards Ankara and stop undermining “common goals.”
The US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on Wednesday backed the bill, which would allow sanctions to be imposed on Ankara, paving the way for the legislation to be voted on by the full Senate. The committee chairman, Senator Jim Risch, said the move would incentivize Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan “to walk away” from the deal for Russian S-400 air defense missile systems.
The bill would also allow Turkish officials to be sanctioned over the military operation in northern Syria against the Kurdish forces, which Ankara considers terrorists.
Turkey promised to retaliate if sanctions are adopted by the US. Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said earlier that the country could bar the US from using military bases on its territory.
Turkey’s purchase of Russia’s S-400 systems has long been a catalyst of the rift in relations with the US, as well as with its NATO allies. Washington even kicked Turkey out of the F-35 fighter jet program.
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