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On Eve of Confirmation Hearing, AHI Calls for Reevaluation of U.S. Relations with Turkey in Letter to Senate Foreign Relations Committee

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: C. Franciscos Economides
July 19, 2010—No. 47 (202) 785-8430

On Eve of Confirmation Hearing, AHI Calls for Reevaluation of U.S. Relations with Turkey in Letter to Senate Foreign Relations Committee

 

WASHINGTON, DC —The American Hellenic Institute (AHI) released a letter it sent today to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee regarding tomorrow’s confirmation hearing for the Honorable Francis Joseph Ricciardone, Jr. who is nominated to be the next American Ambassador to the Republic Turkey.  The letter outlines a series of Turkey’s international violations and policy failures, urges the senators to consider a set of questions to pose to the nominee, and calls for a reevaluation of U.S. relations with Turkey.

“Our position has long been that the United States, in its own best interests, should critically review and reassess its relations with Turkey,” wrote AHI President Aleco Haralambides and AHI Executive Director Nick Larigakis.  “A good place to begin is with the forthcoming confirmation hearing of Ambassador Francis Joseph Ricciardone, Jr.”

The letter highlights Turkish violations of international law and policy failures as they pertain to:  Turkey’s illegal invasion and subsequent occupation of 37 percent of the Republic of Cyprus, Turkey’s continued threat to peace and security in the southeastern Mediterranean, including in the Aegean Sea; Turkey’s violations of U.S. principles on freedom of religion as they pertain to its treatment of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and Turkey’s outreach and actions toward Iran, Israel, Syria, and Sudan that conflict with U.S. interests.

Among the questions presented for consideration by the senator to ask the nominee are:

  • Do you support the removal of the 43,000 illegal Turkish occupation force from Cyprus?
  • The Turkish military illegally occupies and uses real property that is legally owned by U.S. citizens in Cyprus.  Will you direct your embassy staff to compile a list of such property and the U.S. citizen owners?
  • How concerned are you that Turkey continues to violate Greece’s territorial integrity in the Aegean and Greek airspace almost daily?
  • Will you enforce U.S. law (PL 105-277) … as it relates to safeguarding and recognizing the Ecumenical Patriarch and its institutions?

The letter concludes, “The core issues discussed above and the questions posed are based strongly on what we believe are in the best interests of the United States and are embodied within the fundamental principles of democracy and the rule of law.”

To view AHI’s letter to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, please click here (968KB PDF File).

The American Hellenic Institute is a non-profit independent Greek American public policy center that works to strengthen relations between the United States and Greece and Cyprus, and within the Greek American community.

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