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AHI Applauds Rep. Sarbanes' Letter to State Department on FYROM's NATO Aspirations

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Nick Larigakis
November 12, 2010—No. 75 (202) 785-8430

AHI Applauds Rep. Sarbanes' Letter to State Department on FYROM's NATO Aspirations

WASHINGTON, DC—U.S. Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD) sent a letter to Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs Philip H. Gordon on November 8, 2010 on the matter of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia’s (FYROM) continued insistence to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) irrespective of NATO’s legal framework on the eve of the upcoming NATO Summit in Lisbon.  The American Hellenic Institute (AHI) applauds Rep. Sarbanes’ letter, which also expressed appreciation to Assistant Secretary Gordon for his “recent statement affirming that resolution of the name dispute must occur before FYROM can join the NATO Alliance.”

“We thank Congressman Sarbanes for emphasizing that the sole basis for decision-making in NATO is done by consensus and for stating numerous examples of FYROM’s irredentist ambitions against, and nationalistic hate propaganda toward, NATO member Greece,” said Executive Director Nick Larigakis.

Rep. Sarbanes wrote: “FYROM certainly knows that, under the governing rules of the Alliance, its admission to NATO is impossible as long as NATO member Greece objects, which it does so rightly based on FYROM’s refusal to comply with the United Nations brokered Interim Agreement.  The Interim Agreement requires Skopje to negotiate a mutually acceptable name for the country with Athens.  Nevertheless, Skopje ignores its legal obligations, treats Greece’s valid objections as irrelevant, and cynically invites others to take the same position – flouting in ever respect the letter and spirit of NATO’s fundamental protocols.”

Rep. Sarbanes’ letter reinforces AHI’s October 26, 2010 letter to President Barack Obama on the same issue.  AHI’s letter strongly disagreed with a congressional letter signed by 19 legislators who claimed FYROM’s NATO membership should not be “negatively affected by bilateral issues with Greece.”

Please click here to view Congressman Sarbanes’ letter.  To view AHI’s letter to President Obama, please click here.

The American Hellenic Institute is a non-profit 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 Nick Larigakis 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.