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ACTION ALERT

TO: AHI Chapter Presidents, Congressional Contact Team Leaders, Members and Friends
FROM: Nick Larigakis, AHI Executive Director
DATE: September 24, 2007
Re:

PLEASE CONTACT YOUR REPRESENTATIVE TO COSPONSOR:

  1. H.CON.RES. 199 REGARDING TURKEY’S CLAIMS OF SOVEREIGNTY OVER ISLANDS AND ISLETS IN THE AEGEAN SEA.
  2. H.RES. 627 AND H.RES 620 TO SUPPORT THE REMOVAL OF TURKISH OCCUPATION TROOPS FROM THE REPUBLIC OF CYPRUS.

BACKGROUND:

AEGEAN SEA

H.Con. Res. 199 (Regarding Turkey’s Claims of Sovereignty over islands and islets in the Aegean Sea)

On August 2, 2007, Representative Robert E. Andrews (D-NJ) reintroduced H.Con.Res.199, "Expressing the sense of the Congress regarding Turkey's claims of sovereignty over islands and islets in the Aegean Sea." The resolution establishes that:

  1. "the maritime boundaries established in the 1923 Lausanne Treaty of Peace, the 1932 Convention and Protocol Between Italy and Turkey, and the 1947 Paris Treaty of Peace, as well as international law, under which the Dodecanese islands and adjacent islets were ceded by Italy to Greece, are the borders between Greece and Turkey in the Aegean Sea; and
  2. any party, including Turkey, objecting to these established boundaries should seek redress in the International Court of Justice at The Hague."

H.Con.Res.199 expresses the view of the House of Representatives that the boundaries between Greece and Turkey in the Aegean have been established once and for all and that islands and islets on the Greek side, including the islets of Imia, are the sovereign territory of Greece.

AHI initiated this resolution with Rep. Robert E. Andrews (D-NJ).

REMOVING THE TURKISH OCCUPATION TROOPS

H.Res. 627 and H.Res. 620 (To support the removal of Turkish occupation troops from the Republic of Cyprus)

In August, two resolutions were introduced that called on Turkey to remove its troops from Cyprus. Representative Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) introduced H.Res. 627 that supports the removal of Turkish occupation troops from the Republic of Cyprus. The six cosponsors of H.Res. 627 are Albio Sires (D-NJ), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Robert E. Andrews (D-NJ), Zachary T. Space (D-OH), John Sarbanes (D-MD), and Joseph Crowley (D-NY). The second resolution, H.Res. 620, sponsored by Rep. Albio Sires complements Bilirakis’ H.Res. 627.

H.Res. 627, initiated by AHI, emphasizes the Turkish occupation troops that have been in Cyprus since the illegal invasion of July 20, 1974. In the last three decades, Turkish troops have increased to 43,000 in the Occupied Territories. The resolution addresses that the U.S. has advocated support for the July 8, 2006 accord between the President of the Republic of Cyprus Tassos Papadopoulos and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat under auspices of the United Nations. Yet, the U.S. government has not formally advocated for the removal of Turkish occupation troops. The U.S. has supported UN efforts for the reunification of Cyprus within a bi-zonal, bi-federation while ignoring the illegal Turkish troop occupation of Cyprus. Reunification for Cyprus will occur when the U.S. addresses the need to withdraw all Turkish troops.

The removal of the illegal Turkish occupation troops from Cyprus is critical to a settlement on the Cyprus issue. We urge everyone to contact their Representative to cosponsor and support these very important resolutions.

H.Res. 627 calls for the House of Representatives to:

  1. accelerate the momentum for the reunification of the island, urges the immediate withdrawal of the Turkish occupation troops from the Republic of Cyprus;
  2. calls upon the Government of the United States to advocate for the immediate withdrawal of Turkish forces from the occupied territory of the Republic of Cyprus; and
  3. express its support for the immediate implementation of the July 8, 2006, agreement as the best way forward to prepare for new comprehensive negotiations leading to the reunification of Cyprus.

ACTION REQUESTED—CALL, FAX, or E-MAIL:

  1. To cosponsor H.Con.Res. 199
  2. To cosponsor H.Res. 627 and H.Res. 620

ATTACHMENTS:

  1. Information on how to contact your Representative.