|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
||CONTACT: JONATHAN CLARKE
|October 4 2000
||No. 47/00 (202) 785-8430
Reply Of Rick Lazio Republican Senate Candidate For New York To AHIPAC Questionnaire On Greek American Issues
As a service to AHI members and the Greek American community in general during the 2000 congressional campaign, the American Hellenic Institute Public Affairs Committee (AHIPAC) sent letters to all congressional candidates seeking their responses to a questionnaire asking for their positions on issues relating to Greece, Cyprus, Turkey and the Greek minority in Albania.
AHIPAC has now received a reply (copy attached) from Rick Lazio, Republican candidate for the Senate in New York. The highlights are:
- Lazio praises Greece as a "key ally of the United States."
- Lazio supports U.S. recognition of Greek sovereign territory in the Aegean, including the islets of Imia in accordance with standing treaties, law and conventions which define established international boundaries in the Aegean.
- On Cyprus, Lazio describes the Turkish invasion as "one of the great tragedies of the last century." He describes the "illegal and unrecognized government of Denktash" as "an obstacle to peace, a volatile military threat and a proven barrier against economic prosperity in the north." He undertakes to "strongly support a return to peace and a unified Republic of Cyprus."
- Lazio pledges to support the demilitarization of Cyprus in accordance with S.Con.Res 41 and H.Con.Res. 81.
- On Turkey, Lazio supports Turkey's candidacy to the European Union which he describes as a means of improving Turkey's "disappointing record in human rights, religious freedom and on key territorial disputes, including Cyprus." He states his willingness to consider "establishing links between U.S. arms sales to a country and that country's humanitarian record."
- On the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Halki Patriarchal School of Theology, Lazio says that a "fully functioning Ecumenical Patriarchate and Theological School of Halki is good for Turkey and great for the Orthodox world. I would encourage congressional hearings on this issue."
- On Albania, Lazio condemns religious and ethnic persecution of minorities in Albania. He says that he would "support congressional hearings meant to investigate whether or not Albania has made any efforts to cultivate a non-discriminatory environment" for the Greek community in Albania.