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AHIPAC Senate And House Testimony Supports Continuing Aid To Cyprus, Advocates Closer Relationship With Greece And Urges Critical Review Of U.S. Policy Toward Turkey
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: JONATHAN CLARKE
April 14, 2000 No. 23/2000 (202) 785-8430

AHIPAC Senate And House Testimony Supports Continuing Aid To Cyprus, Advocates Closer Relationship With Greece And Urges Critical Review Of U.S. Policy Toward Turkey

On April 13 and 14, 2000 respectively, Eugene T. Rossides submitted testimony on the Administration's foreign aid proposals to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Operations and the House Subcommittee on Foreign Operations, Export Financing and Related Programs.

The statements set out means to promote the interests and values of the United States in the Southeast Europe and Eastern Mediterranean region.

The statement supports the amount of $15 million in humanitarian aid for Cyprus. This aid is an important symbol of U.S. support for Cyprus and of the U.S. commitment to achieving a comprehensive solution of the Cyprus problem.

The statements highlight the positive roles played by Greece and Cyprus in advancing U.S. regional interests. Both countries are vigorous democracies. Greece is uniquely placed in the region as the only country which is both a member of the EU and NATO. Cyprus has established itself as a regional center of international business and finance and is well advanced in terms of its accession negotiations with the EU. It recommends that the U.S. should maximize these opportunities by developing a closer relationship with both countries.

The statements highlight Turkey's negative role in terms of its violations of human rights and international law. These have made Turkey the prime source of many of the region's problems. Turkey's non-compliance with normal international standards was underscored by the December 1999 decision of the European Union to require Turkey to meet strict conditions before accession negotiations can be opened.

The statements call upon Congress to initiate a critical review of U.S. policy toward Turkey. Continuing U.S. support for Turkey has rendered the U.S. an accessory to Turkey's violations of U.S. and international law and Turkey's abuses of fundamental human rights.

Mr. Rossides' statements were made on behalf of the American Hellenic Institute Public Affairs Committee, the Hellenic American National Council, the Hellenic American Women's Council, the Cyprus Federation 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.

A copy of the statements together with their exhibits may be found on the AHI website.