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AHI Congratulates Representative Frank Pallone For Opposing Aid To Turkey, Urging Cyprus Settlement
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: CHRYSOULA ECONOMOPOULOS
March 3, 2003 No. 7 (202) 785-8430

AHI Congratulates Representative Frank Pallone For Opposing Aid To Turkey, Urging Cyprus Settlement

The American Hellenic Institute (AHI) applauds U.S. Representative Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ, 6th Dist.) for strongly opposing any potential U.S. concessions to Turkish demands for tens of billions of dollars in financial assistance in exchange for use of Turkey as a base for U.S. troops in the possible war against Iraq.

In a February 24 letter to U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, Rep. Pallone said that concessions to Turkish demands for control of Iraqi oil and any role for Turkey in the future of northern Iraq would be even more disturbing.

Rep. Pallone also noted in his letter that, "My initial concern is why it is necessary to provide Turkey with any incentives to support the United States position. After all, Turkey is supposedly a democracy, a NATO ally, and a secular nation."

According to Rep. Pallone's letter, the administration was urged to rethink current policy vis ´a vis Turkey, pointing out that "Turkey has been widely condemned by human rights organizations for their brutal repression of the Kurdish minorities in Turkey, limiting the right to assembly, language and culture." Also noted was Turkey's 29-year illegal military occupation of Cyprus, "making 20,000 Greek Cypriots refugees in their own country after falling victim to a policy of ethnic cleansing and being forcibly evicted from their homes."

In concluding his letter, Rep. Pallone stated that "We cannot fight for democracy and freedom across the globe while ignoring these same values for the people we are going to war to liberate."

The AHI also congratulates Representative Pallone for his leadership in urging the Administration to "play a leading role" in ending the 29-year division of Cyprus in a February 14 letter to President Bush, signed by 78 Members of Congress. According to Rep. Pallone, "Our bipartisan call for action to help end the division of Cyprus is fully consistent with longstanding U.S. policy. We should do all that we can to encourage all parties, but especially the Turkish Cypriot leadership and Turkey, to work constructively within the UN framework to negotiate a comprehensive and lasting settlement."

A press release from Representative Pallone's office regarding his February 24 letter is also available here.

For additional information, please contact Chrysoula Economopoulos at (202) 785-8430 or info@ahiworld.org. For general information regarding the activities of AHI, please view our website at http://www.ahiworld.org.