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Erdogan, Putin, Raisi Holding Hands “A Picture Worth 1,000 Words”

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The leaders of Russia, Iran, and Turkey present a united front at their meeting in Tehran earlier in the week. Credit: Russian Presidency

Greek-American Representatives Nicole Malliotakis (NY-11) and Chris Pappas (NH-01) slammed the trilateral meeting between Erdogan, Putin, and Raisi earlier in the week in Tehran.

In a bipartisan statement, the two Greek-American politicians noted that “one picture is worth 1,000 words.”

They added that the meeting between Turkey’s Erdogan, Russia’s Putin, and Iran’s Raisi “should send a clear message to the Biden Administration and Congress that Turkey cannot, and must not, be trusted.”

The two Representatives urged their colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support their efforts to stop any sale of U.S. military equipment to Turkey.

“Turkey may be a NATO ally, but under Erdogan, it continues unprovoked aggression by threatening Exclusive Economic Zones, ordering military flyovers over the Greek Islands, and undermining NATO sanctions on Russia and U.S. operations in Syria while continuing to violate U.S. law through its possession of Russian-made S-400s that threaten NATO security infrastructure,” the statement reads.

The statement further asserts that: “After today, there should be no question that Turkey must be denied American military equipment and weapons.”

Last week, Congress adopted an amendment authored by Pappas and co-sponsored by Malliotakis to deter the sale of U.S. F-16 warplanes and modernization kits to Turkey following President Biden’s support for the deal.

Erdogan, Putin, and Raisi vow to “fight terrorism” in Syria

On Tuesday, Russia, Turkey, and Iran vowed  to continue their cooperation to “eliminate terrorists” in Syria in a trilateral statement after their presidents met in Tehran.

The three countries “reaffirmed the determination to continue their ongoing cooperation in order to ultimately eliminate terrorist individuals, groups, undertakings and entities,” the statement reads.

They “expressed their opposition to the illegal seizure and transfer of oil revenues that should belong to Syria.”

They also “rejected all attempts to create new realities on the ground under the pretext of combating terrorism, including illegitimate self-rule initiatives, and expressed their determination to stand against separatist agendas” in Syria.

The trilateral statement was released after Erdogan urged his Russian and Iranian counterparts to back his efforts to fight “terrorism” in Syria.

It comes after he has repeatedly threatened to launch a military offensive against a semi-autonomous Kurdish administration in Syria’s oil-rich northeast.

Turkey has launched waves of attacks on Syria since 2016, targeting the Kurdish fighters as well as Islamic State group jihadists.

It has also supported Syrian rebels against the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

Iran and Russia are also involved in Syria’s conflict, but support, rather than oppose, Assad.

“It should be understood clearly that there is no room in our region’s future for separatist terror organizations,” Erdogan said at the summit.

Related: Erdogan Keeps Putin Waiting in Show of Gamesmanship

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