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Congressman Rob Andrews (D-NJ) Sends Letter to Secretary of State Colin Powell Regarding FYROM Recognition
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: GEORGIA ECONOMOU
November 5, 2004—No.66 (202) 785-8430

CONGRESSMAN ROB ANDREWS (D-NJ) SENDS LETTER TO SECRETARY OF STATE COLIN POWELL REGARDING FYROM RECOGNITION

WASHINGTON, DC—On November 4, 2004, the American Hellenic Institute (AHI) contacted Congressman Rob Andrew’s office to discuss action that could be initiated from the House of Representatives regarding the recent decision by the State Department to recognize FYROM under the name of "Republic of Macedonia."

AHI is pleased to report that today, November 5, 2005, Representative Andrews sent a letter to Secretary of State Colin Powell whereby he expresses his "concern" and states that this action is "insulting to the Greek American community."

Representative Andrews further asks the Secretary Powell to "provide me with an articulation on the rationale behind this policy decision."

"Mr. Andrews is a very strong supporter of the rule of law and a friend of the Greek American community. He has time and time again, in many legislative capacities, supported a name for FYROM that does not incorporate the word "Macedonia." Mr. Andrews understands that it is not in the U.S. interests to recognize FYROM in this way because it has the potential to destabilize the region which would adversely affect U.S. interests." Said AHI Executive Director Nick Larigakis.

"We will continue to examine legislative initiatives that we might be able to introduce so as to withdraw this recognition." Said Larigakis.

Below is the full text of Congressman Andrews’ letter.

I write to express my concern regarding the recent announcement that the United States will be referring to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) as "the Republic of Macedonia" from this point forward. This reversal of US policy is detrimental to the ongoing negotiations between Greece and FYROM, and will only serve to create greater divisions between these two nations.

It is my belief, and the belief of many Greek and Greek-American citizens, that the name "Macedonia" properly belongs to Greek culture. The US decision to refer to FYROM as the "Republic of Macedonia" is insulting to the Greek community, and appears to accomplish nothing aside from creating further divisiveness. Language was included in the FY2004 omnibus appropriations bill urging the State Department to use the proper name for this Balkan nation, thereby allowing Greece and FYROM to reach their own agreement on use of the Macedonian name. However, despite this urging, a unilateral decision has now been made which gives the appearance that the United States had sided against our Greek allies.

I thank you for taking the time to review this correspondence, and ask that you please provide me with an articulation of the rationale behind this policy decision.

Rob Andrews

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For additional information, please contact Georgia Economou at (202) 785-8430 or at [email protected]. For general information about the activities of AHI, please see our Web site at http://www.ahiworld.org.