American Hellenic Institute

AHI Calendar

 
Facebook Image
AHI and ANCA Issue Joint Statement on Senate Resolution Regarding U.S.-Turkey Relations
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: GEORGIA ECONOMOU
October 30, 2007—No. 71 (202) 785-8430

AHI and ANCA Issue Joint Statement on Senate Resolution Regarding U.S.-Turkey Relations

WASHINGTON, DC—Executive Director Nick Larigakis issued a joint statement today with Aram Hamparian Executive Director for the Armenian National Committee, to members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee regarding the introduction by Senators Gordon Smith (R-OR) and Robert Byrd (D-WV) of S.Res. 358 regarding U.S.-Turkey relations.

The statement says:

The resolution introduced by Senators Smith and Byrd neither serves U.S. interests nor advances American values by sugarcoating Turkey’s record or by ignoring serious tensions in the U.S.-Turkey bilateral relationship.

Any legislation that the Congress considers on this issue should clearly and prominently address Turkey’s threats to invade and destabilize northern Iraq, its immoral and heavy-handed threats against the recognition of the Armenian Genocide, military occupation of Cyprus, continued airspace violations of Greek-sovereign airspace over the Aegean, blockade of Armenia, mistreatment of the Kurds, and restrictions on the religious freedom of the Ecumenical Patriarch and other Christian leaders.

Below is a copy of S.Res. 358 regarding U.S.-Turkish relations.

SENATE RESOLUTION 358—EXPRESSING THE IMPORTANCE OF FRIENDSHIP AND COOPERATION BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND TURKEY

S.Res. 358

Mr. SMITH (for himself and Mr. Byrd) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations:

Whereas the United States and Turkey share common ideals and a clear vision for the 21st century, in which freedom and democracy are the foundation of peace, prosperity, and security;

Whereas Turkey is a strong example of a predominantly Muslim country with a true representative democratic government;

Whereas for more than 50 years a strategic partnership has existed between the United States and Turkey, both bilaterally and through the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which has been of enormous political, economic, cultural, and strategic benefit to both countries;

Whereas the Government of Turkey has demonstrated its opposition to terrorism throughout the world, and has called for the international community to unite against this threat;

Whereas Turkey maintains an important bilateral relationship with Israel and seeks to play a constructive role in Middle East peace negotiations;

Whereas Operation Enduring Freedom entered its 6th year on October 7th, 2007;

Whereas Turkey commanded the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan twice, from July 2002 to January 2003, and from February 2005 to August 2005;

Whereas Turkey has provided humanitarian and medical assistance in Afghanistan and in Iraq;

Whereas the Government of Turkey has made its base in Incirlik available for United States missions in Iraq and Afghanistan;

Whereas Secretary of Defense Robert Gates credits United States air bases in Turkey with handling 70 percent of all air cargo deployed into Iraq;

Whereas 95 percent of the Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protective vehicles (MRAPs) deployed into Iraq transit through air bases in Turkey;

Whereas MRAPs protect coalition forces from improvised explosive devices and roadside bombs;

Whereas the people of Turkey have been victims of terrorist attacks by Al-Qaeda on November 15, 2003, and November 20, 2003;

Whereas the United States supports Turkey's bid for membership in the European Union; and

Whereas the Secretary of State has listed the Kurdistan Workers' Party, which has taken up arms against Turkey since its founding, as a Foreign Terrorist Organization in accordance with section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate—

  1. reiterates its strong support for the strategic alliance between the United States and Turkey;
  2. urges Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey to communicate the continuing support of the Senate and of the people of the United States to the people of Turkey;
  3. condemns the violent attacks conducted by the Kurdistan Workers' Party over the last 2 decades;
  4. urges Kurdish leaders in Iraq to deny safe harbor for terrorists and to recognize bilateral agreements between Iraq and Turkey for cooperation against terrorism;
  5. encourages the Government of Turkey and the Government of Iraq to continue to work together to end the threat of terrorism; and
  6. thanks Prime Minister Erdogan and the people and Government of Turkey for—

(A) assuming command of the International Security Assistance Force in Kabul, Afghanistan from July 2002 to January 2003, and from February 2005 to August 2005;

(B) providing humanitarian and medical assistance in Afghanistan and in Irag;

(C) their willingness to contribute to international peace, stability, and prosperity, especially in the greater Middle East region; and

(D) their continued discussions with officials in the United States and Iraq regarding constructive stabilization efforts in northern Iraq.

###

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.