US Senator Bob Menendez, who chairs the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, has green lighted the sale of Lockheed Martin Corp’s F-35 fighter jets to Greece, he told the Delphi Economic Forum in Washington.
“I am pleased that two days ago I signed off for the F35-s to the Hellenic Republic and I did so not because I am simply a fan of the Greek people; I did so because this is a country that shares our values, that is aligned with us to things that are important in the world; democracy, human rights, rule of law, a country that is not belligerent to its neighbors,” Menendez said.
“When a country lines up in its values with us and there is also strategic interest, then I have no problem signing off as the Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee with the jurisdiction of arms sales… But when a country exhibits the contrary to that, then yes I have a problem,” he said.
The decision must be approved by Senator Jim Risch, the top Republican on the committee, as well as by Rep Michael McCaul, chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Rep Gregory Meeks of New York, the ranking Democrat on the same committee.
After this consensus has been obtained, which is estimated to be a matter of time, the US government will formally notify Congress of the sale of F-35s to Greece, and from there, the prescribed procedure for the ratification of the defense contract will be followed.
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