American politicians have condemned the decision of President Trump to extend an invitation to Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan to visit Washington.
Seventeen Republican and Democratic U.S. Representatives, including Gerald E. Connolly (D-VA), Jamie Raskin (D-MD) and Peter King (R-NY), signed a call for President Trump to rescind the invitation.
“We believe that now is a particularly inappropriate time for President Erdogan to visit the United States,” they wrote.
President Trump has celebrated the visit, writing on Twitter last week, “Look forward to seeing President Erdogan next Wednesday, November 13th.”
Senator Bob Menendez, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who had strongly urged the US President to cancel the invitation, on Tuesday outlined ten issues that Trump should bring up with Erdogan during the visit.
The issues include Turkey’s invasion of Cyprus, the ongoing trespassing of Greek airspace, the invasion of Northern Syria, the purchase of Russian-made S-400s and the extradition of Erdogan’s security detail, who assaulted peaceful protesters in Washington, DC in May, 2017.
“While Erdogan may not believe in the right of peaceful protests in his home country, I hope that Erdogan learns his lesson that here in the United States, the right to peaceful assembly is enshrined in our constitution and core to our democracy, and I hope that President Trump clearly reminds them of this fact,” said Sen. Menendez in a 15-minute speech on the Senate floor.