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AHIPAC Testimony Highlights Positive Opportunitites in Greece and Cyprus, Condemns Turkish Violations of Law, and Calls for a New U.S. Policy Toward Turkey

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: NICK LARIGAKIS
April 1, 1998 No. 19/98

AHIPAC TESTIMONY HIGHLIGHTS POSITIVE OPPORTUNITIES IN GREECE AND CYPRUS, CONDEMNS TURKISH VIOLATIONS OF LAW, AND CALLS FOR A NEW U.S. POLICY TOWARD TURKEY

On March 31, 1998, Eugene T. Rossides provided testimony on the Administration's foreign aid proposals to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Operations. A copy of his statement (without exhibits) is attached.

The statement congratulated the Congress on its role in ending U.S. military and economic aid to Turkey. U.S. aid to Turkey had made the U.S. an accessory to Turkey's massive violations of international law and human rights. It called for a halt in U.S. arms sales and transfers to Turkey.

The statement highlighted the favorable opportunities for U.S. regional interests presented by Greece and Cyprus where there are vigorous democracies supported by a broad consensus on the national agenda. The U.S. should maximize these opportunities by developing a closer relationship with both countries.

The statement called for the U.S. to change its policy toward Turkey. The central issue is the rule of law, a core principle of U.S. diplomacy throughout our nation's history. Turkish refusal to respect international law in the Aegean and over Cyprus along with its continuing violations of basic human rights within Turkey constitutes the major threat to regional stability.

The statement cited twelve specific instances of Turkey's violations of U.S. and international law, a worse record than Iraq. It called upon Congress to hold the Administration accountable for enforcing domestic and international law and to insist that the Administration makes clear to Turkey that it expects Turkey to adhere strictly to the normal standards of lawful behavior and that any deviation from these standards will damage U.S.-Turkish relations.

Mr. Rossides' statement was made on behalf of the American Hellenic Institute Public Affairs Committee in conjunction with the Hellenic American National Council, the Hellenic American Women's Council, the Cyprus Association of America, the Pan Laconian Federation of the U.S.A. and Canada, the Pan Cretan Association of America and the Pan Karpathian Progressive Association.