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Senators Olympia J. Snowe (R-ME) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) Introduce Senate Version of “American-Owned Property in Occupied Cyprus Claims Act”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: GEORGIA ECONOMOU
June 22, 2006—No. 55 (202) 785-8430

Senators Olympia J. Snowe (R-ME) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) Introduce Senate Version of “American-Owned Property in Occupied Cyprus Claims Act”

Washington, DC—On June 15, 2006 Senator Olympia J. Snowe (R-ME) introduced the Senate version of H.R. 857 American-Owned Property In Occupied Cyprus Claims Act. The Senate bill is S. 3520. Joining Senator Snowe as an original co-sponsor is Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ). The companion House bill is H.R. 857 which has 32 co-sponsors.

This bill will enable U.S. citizens who own property in the Turkish occupied territory of the Republic of Cyprus to seek financial remedies with either the current inhabitants of their land or the Turkish government.

Since the 1974 invasion and occupation of the northern part of Cyprus, the property of Greek Cypriots and American nationals in northern occupied Cyprus was illegally taken, occupied and used by the Turkish authorities and individuals. This new bill will allow American nationals to seek financial remedies regarding their property through the following three methods:

  1. The bill authorizes the President to initiate a claims program under which the claims of U.S. nationals who Turkey has excluded from their property in occupied Cyprus can be judged by the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission (FCSC) and compensated through government-to-government negotiations between the United States and Turkey.
  2. The bill empowers the United States district courts to hear causes of action asserted by U.S. nationals who have been excluded from their property in occupied Cyprus against private persons or entities that occupy or use the property of U.S. nationals in occupied Cyprus.
  3. The bill empowers the United States district courts to hear causes of action asserted by U.S. nationals who have been excluded from their property in occupied Cyprus against Turkey without having to assert those causes of action under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of 1976 as amended.

“AHI congratulates Senator Olympia Snowe and Senator Robert Menendez for introducing this important legislation. We now have identical bills in the House and Senate,” said Gene Rossides, AHI President. He also stated that, “AHI Executive Director Nick Larigakis will now contact the grass roots leadership and members, including the wider Greek American community to encourage them to write and call their Senators to urge them to co-sponsor S. 3520.”

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