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AHI Sends Letter to Secretary Condoleezza Rice Regarding Turkey’s Violation of U.S. Law by its Recent Transfer of U.S.-origin Tanks to Cyprus
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: C. Franciscos Economides
April 19, 2005—No.31 (202) 785-8430

AHI Sends Letter to Secretary Condoleezza Rice Regarding Turkey’s Violation of U.S. Law by its Recent Transfer of U.S.-origin Tanks to Cyprus

WASHINGTON, DC—On April 19, 2005 AHI President Gene Rossides sent a letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice regarding Turkey’s violation of section 2373 of the U.S. Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended, and its agreement under said law, by its recent transfer to Cyprus of 12 U.S.-origin M-48 tanks and other arms on the United States Munitions List. The text of the letter follows:

April 19, 2005
The Honorable Condoleezza Rice
Secretary of State
State Department
2201 C Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20520

Dear Madam Secretary:

I bring to your attention Turkey’s violation of section 2373 of the U.S. Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended, by its recent transfer of 12 U.S.-origin M-48 tanks and other arms on the United States Munitions List to Cyprus. Turkey is also in violation of its agreement under section 2373 not to transfer such arms to Cyprus.

The State Department spokesperson, Adam Ereli erroneously stated on March 1, 2005 that the transfer is not in violation of U.S. law because the tanks transferred to Cyprus remain under the control of the Turkish military. The State Department official who advised Mr. Ereli on the answer was in error. Since December 22, 1987, 22 U.S.C. § 2373 absolutely prohibits the transfer of U.S. supplied arms to Cyprus by Turkey without regard to whether the arms remain in the control of the Turkish military. The plain language of the law is clear.

Subsection 2373 (e) (1) reads as follows:

"(e) Arms sales agreements to prohibit transfer to Cyprus

(1) Any agreement for the sale or provision of any article on the United States Munitions List…entered into by the United States after December 22, 1987, shall expressly state that the article is being provided by the United States only with the understanding that it will not be transferred to Cyprus or otherwise used to further the severence or division of Cyprus."

Further, subsection 2373 (e) (2) requires the President to report to Congress any violations. It reads as follows:

"(2) The President shall report to Congress any substantial evidence that equipment provided under any such agreement has been used in a manner inconsistent with the purposes of this subsection."

Enclosed herewith is a memorandum of law with greater detail on this matter.

Following confirmation of the facts of the transfer of the U.S.-origin M-48 tanks by Turkey to Cyprus, which we understand are readily available, we believe it is incumbent on the Department to:

  1. inform the President so that he can make a report to Congress;
  2. inform Turkey of the violation and demand the immediate removal from Cyprus of the arms;
  3. undertake an investigation to determine what other arms on the United States Munitions List have been transferred by Turkey to Cyprus since December 22, 1987 in violation of section 2373.

I am sending a copy of this letter to the President and the persons listed below.


Sincerely,

/S/
Gene Rossides
Enclosure


cc: Vice President Richard B. Cheney
Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld
Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick
Under Secretary of State Nicholas Burns
Chief of Staff Andrew Card
Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove
National Security Adviser Steve Hadley
Director of OMB Joshua Bolten
State Department Inspector General Cameron R. Hume    
The Congress

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For additional information, please contact C. Franciscos Economides at (202) 785-8430 or at [email protected]. For general information regarding the activities of AHI, please view our Web site at http://www.ahiworld.org.