A senior U.S. senator who has long opposed the potential sale of F-16 fighter jets to Turkey said on Tuesday he wants Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan to take a “less belligerent” stance toward NATO allies and Turkey’s neighbors before lifting his opposition to the deal.

“Now what’s important is how does Erdogan want to move into the future with Turkey. If he wants to change course from where he’s been, I look forward to seeing that,” Democrat Bob Menendez, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told reporters in the wake of Erdogan’s election victory.

“If it’s the same, or more of the same, as what we’ve seen then I’ll still have the same positions as I’ve had before,” Menendez said.

NATO member Turkey requested in October 2021 to buy $20 billion of Lockheed Martin Corp F-16 fighters and nearly 80 modernization kits for its existing warplanes. President Joe Biden’s administration has said it supports the sale and has been in touch for months with Congress to win its approval.

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