AHI’s Larigakis Calls on Congress to Oppose Assistance to Turkey

Nick Larigakis testifies on Tuesday. Source: AHI

American Hellenic Institute (AHI) President Nick Larigakis on Tuesday called on Congress to oppose any assistance the Administration will request for Turkey.

Larigakis presented public witness testimony to the House of Representatives Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs on the Trump Administration’s foreign aid proposal for FY2020.

He urged the subcommittee to oppose assistance until Turkey withdraws all of its troops and illegal Turkish settlers from Cyprus and ceases and desists its acts of aggression in the Aegean.

He also stated his opposition to any reduction in the Administration’s proposed aid level of $5.7 million for the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus.

Also, his testimony applauded the FY2019 enacted level of funding of $1 million for NATO ally Greece’s International Military Education and Training (IMET) program and supported a recommended $1.2 million appropriation for FY2020.

In addition, AHI recommended appropriations language on two policy issues to be included in FY2020’s bill: ensuring the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus can fully implement its mandates and holding Turkey accountable for its purchase of S-400 missiles from Russia.

“We thank Chairwoman Lowey, Ranking Member Rogers, and members of the Subcommittee, for the opportunity to present our testimony in person,” Larigakis said. “It is vital to ensure the Greek American community’s positions on American foreign aid to this increasingly vital region are presented and entered into the public record.”

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs is chaired by U.S. Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY), who is also chairwoman of the full appropriations committee. U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY) is the Subcommittee’s ranking member.