American Hellenic Institute

AHI Calendar

 
Facebook Image
AHIPAC Chairman Nicholas Chimicles Presents Year 2000 Greek American Policy Statements At Capitol Hill Luncheon
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: JONATHAN CLARKE
March 10, 2000 No. 17/2000 (202) 785-8430

AHIPAC Chairman Nicholas Chimicles Presents Year 2000 Greek American Policy Statements At Capitol Hill Luncheon

On March 9, 2000 the American Hellenic Institute Public Affairs Committee (AHIPAC) held a luncheon on Capitol Hill at which AHIPAC Chairman Nicholas Chimicles presented the Year 2000 Greek American Policy Statements and outlined AHIPAC's legislative priorities for the current session of Congress.

In his introductory remarks, Mr. Chimicles highlighted the "unprecedented opportunity" to advance U.S. interests in Southeast Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean arising from the European Union decision in December 1999 to accept Turkey as a candidate member for accession subject to the fulfillment by Turkey of certain conditions. The EU decision sets the stage for making progress on long-standing regional problems such as the Aegean and Cyprus. Mr. Chimicles stated that AHIPAC welcomed this development which reflected long-held AHIPAC positions.

Mr. Chimicles also referred to the "earthquake diplomacy" and the warming of relations between Greece and Turkey as a helpful development.

Mr. Chimicles emphasized that Congress now has an important role to play. Peace and progress will not develop of their own accord. The U.S. needs to send a signal that it is actively engaged. Congress should be "more vigilant, not less vigilant; more interested, not less interested."

The prime means for Congress to express its continuing interest in the region and its support for fundamental U.S. values is, Mr. Chimicles stated, to support AHIPAC-initiated legislation to be introduced into the Congress. This legislation will cover:

  • Recognition that the maritime borders in the Aegean have been established by international treaty;
  • A ban on new arms sales and transfers to Turkey pending Turkey's compliance with its undertakings to the EU; and
  • A withdrawal of Normal Trade Relations status from Turkey pending Turkey's compliance with its undertakings to the EU.

The briefing was attended by approximately 20 representatives or their legislative aides. AHIPAC will hold similar briefings at regular intervals.

Mr. Chimicles is senior partner of Chimicles & Tikellis LLP with offices in Haverford, PA and Wilmington, DE. Mr. Chimicles is also Chairman of the firm's Executive Committee.