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AHI Submits Testimony to Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Operations
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: CHRYSOULA ECONOMOPOULOS
April 30, 2003 No. 23 (202) 785-8430

AHI Submits Testimony to Senate Appropriations
Subcommittee on Foreign Operations

WASHINGTON, DC—American Hellenic Institute (AHI) Founder and General Counsel Gene Rossides submitted testimony today to the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Operations on behalf of AHI and the Hellenic American National Council (HANC). The testimony supports AHI and HANC's position on the Fiscal Year 2004 Appropriations Bill.

AHI's testimony addresses the following three items as in the best interest of the United States:

"(1) We urge an 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 just, viable and comprehensive settlement. Cyprus was helpful to the U.S. in the war on Iraq.

(2) We support the amount of $600,000 in IMET funds for Greece. Greece was helpful to the U.S. in the war on Iraq, authorizing the use by the U.S. of the key strategic naval base at Souda Bay, Crete, the important air base there and overflight rights.

(3) We oppose the $255 million in military and economic aid to the military-controlled government of Turkey in this bill. This amount was proposed by the Administration before Turkey refused to help the U.S. regarding Iraq. It is composed of $200 million economic support funds (ESF), $50 million foreign military financing (FMF) and $5 million international military education and training (IMET). It should be fully removed from the bill without hesitation."

Among other points made, the testimony recommends that the Subcommittee revisit and reconsider the amount of $1 billion for Turkey in the Supplemental Appropriations Bill for the Iraq war which the Congress passed on April 12, 2003 because we did not need Turkey.

Included with the testimony as Exhibit 1 was AHI's April 29, 2003 letter to President George W. Bush, which addresses the following subjects in greater detail:

• The war on Iraq has demonstrated Turkey’s unreliability as an ally and that Turkey is of minimal value for U.S. strategic or other interests in the Middle East

• The need in the interests of the U.S. to change the flawed U.S. policy towards Turkey

• Turkey is the cause of tensions and problems in its region

• Richard Perle should resign or be removed from the Defense Policy Board

• Turkey’s U.S. foreign agents

A copy of Mr. Rossides' testimony and letter to President Bush is attached. For additional information, please contact Chrysoula Economopoulos at (202) 785-8430 or [email protected]. For general information regarding the activities of AHI, please view our website at http://www.ahiworld.org.

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The American Hellenic Institute (AHI) and its affiliate organizations, the American Hellenic Institute Public Affairs Committee (AHIPAC), the American Hellenic Institute Foundation (AHIF), and the AHI Business Network, a division of the AHI, are working together under one roof, to provide a joint program for strengthening United States relations with Greece and Cyprus and within the American Hellenic community.

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