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AHI Plays Key Role in Winning House of Representatives Endorsement of the Rule of Law and Greek Sovereign Territory in the Aegean
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: JONATHAN CLARKE
July 22, 1999 No. 28/99 (202) 785-8430

AHI Plays Key Role in Winning House of Representatives Endorsement of the Rule of Law and Greek Sovereign Territory in the Aegean

On July 21, 1999, the House of Representatives passed by unanimous voice vote Amendment 19 to H.R. 2415 (the State Department authorization bill), expressing the "Sense of Congress...that:

  1. the water boundaries established in the Treaty of Lausanne of 1923 and the 1932 Convention between Italy and Turkey, including the Protocol annexed to such Convention, are the borders between Greece and Turkey in the Aegean; and
  2. any party, including Turkey, objecting to these established boundaries should seek redress in the International Court of Justice at The Hague."

The effect of this amendment is to express the House of Representatives' view that the boundaries as 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 Greek sovereign territory.

The Amendment was offered by Congressman Rob Andrews (D-NJ). The Amendment incorporates language initiated by the American Hellenic Institute (AHI) and first introduced on November 7, 1997 by Congressman Mike Pappas (R-NJ) in the 105th Congress.

Speaking in support of this Amendment Representatives Rob Andrews (D-NJ) and Mike Bilirakis (R-FL) stated: "This Amendment is a clear signal to Turkey that the House of Representatives regards its claims to Greek sovereign territory as illegitimate and without legal standing."

AHI congratulates Representatives Andrews and Bilirakis and all those responsible for passing this historic Amendment on a bipartisan basis. AHI also congratulates its members and members of the Greek American community who worked so hard these past two years and in contacting every member of the House to advocate the passage of this Amendment. AHI was particularly gratified to learn from congressional sources that its efforts and those of its members had played a pivotal role in the passage of this Amendment.