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AHI Releases 1998 Greek American Policy Statements

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: JONATHAN CLARKE

March 19, 1998 No. 15/98

AMERICAN HELLENIC INSTITUTE RELEASES
1998 GREEK AMERICAN POLICY STATEMENTS

The American Hellenic Institute (AHI) today released the 1998 Greek American Policy Statements prepared by AHI and reviewed and approved by the Order of AHEPA, the Hellenic American National Council (HANC) and the Hellenic American Women's Council (HAWC), key membership organizations in the community. The Policy Statements cover the following issues:

Aegean
Cyprus
Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Halki Patriarchal School of Theology
Greece
Turkey, including arms sales and transfers and multilateral economic assistance
Other regional issues including: Albania, Armenia, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Kurds, and NATO.

The Policy Statements emphasize the opportunities for advancing American interests in Southeastern Europe, the Aegean, and Eastern Mediterranean. Both Greece and Cyprus enjoy vigorous democracies with sensible, moderate governments drawing on a broad-based political consensus about the national agenda. Together with business and civic leaders they pursue policies designed to lower regional tensions, consolidate stability, foster regional development and reach out to their neighbors.

The Policy Statements call upon the Administration to adopt policies that will make the most of this constructive spirit on the Greek and Cypriot sides and increase American participation in the region's political and commercial revitalization.

For this to happen, the Policy Statements advocate a comprehensive review of U.S. policy toward Turkey. To date, the U.S. has ignored Turkey's destabilizing actions toward Greece and Cyprus and continuing violations of international law. Past U.S. military and economic assistance to Turkey has made the U.S. an accessory in these and other acts by Turkey against international law. The new, favorable circumstances in Greece and Cyprus provide an opportunity to reverse this approach.

Pending the outcome of this review, the Policy Statements call upon the Administration to halt all arms sales and transfers to Turkey, to freeze any loan programs for Turkey, and to instruct its representatives in multinational agencies to vote against any aid for Turkey.