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Congressman questions Erdogan visit, says he violates US’s ‘founding principles’

Published: Updated:

Americans will “not tolerate visitors disregarding our laws and violating our founding principles on US soil,” US Representative Mike McCaul said on Wednesday, expressing his concern over Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s upcoming visit to the White House.

McCaul, the top Republican on the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, said that he was “extremely concerned” by reports of violence committed by Turkey in northeastern Syria, and urged Ankara to end its incursion in the country.

Turkey has taken numerous actions that harm NATO, McCaul said, which include “their purchase of the Russian S-400 air defense system; spurious charges against US Embassy staff; and rampant jailing of journalists.”

“President Erdogan must reverse course and recommit to NATO and our bilateral partnership,” he added.

A bipartisan bloc of 17 lawmakers in the US House had signed a letter urging President Donald Trump to rescind the invitation he extended to the Turkish president.

They stated that Turkey’s invasion of northern Syria has had “disastrous consequences for US national security,” expressing their “deep concern” over the planned trip.

In an interview on Sunday, White House national security adviser Robert O'Brien said Trump plans to confront Erdogan during his White House visit over the purchase of the S-400 and warned Turkey will “feel the impact” of sanctions if it keeps the platform.