WASHINGTON, DC — U.S. Representative Gus M. Bilirakis (R-FL), co-chair, Congressional Caucus on Hellenic Issues, and co-chair, Congressional Hellenic Israeli Alliance, submitted into the Congressional Record, American Hellenic Institute’s (AHI) May 1, 2017 letter to President Donald J. Trump ahead of President Trump’s scheduled meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the White House, May 16, 2017.
In his May 4, 2017 Extension of Remarks, Congressman Bilirakis stated: “Mr. Speaker, I rise today to submit into the record a letter from the American Hellenic Institute regarding President Trump’s upcoming meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. As one of the co-chairs of the Congressional Hellenic Caucus, I have advocated for the rights of Greece and Cyprus against the intimidating actions of Turkey. Since Turkey’s Presidential referendum vote, Erdogan’s government continues to ignore and violate long-standing international law and treaties – a threat to regional security and an impediment to regional interests, stability, and prosperity.”
In addition, Congressman Bilirakis stated the United States, and its regional allies, should be better prepared to respond with targeted sanctions and foreign aid restrictions for any nation that transgresses international law, including NATO ally Turkey.
AHI President Nick Larigakis stated, “We applaud Congressman Bilirakis for his staunch advocacy of Greece and Cyprus and for calling out Turkey as a threat to regional security and condemning Turkish aggression. We sincerely thank the congressman for entering our letter into the Congressional Record and his support.”
In the May 1, 2017 letter, AHI President Nick Larigakis requested that Turkey’s provocations, which have created instability in the eastern Mediterranean and which are not in the best interests of the United States, be raised during the meeting between Presidents Trump and Erdogan. Larigakis cited rising tensions in the Aegean, Turkey’s recent incursion into Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ), and President Erdogan’s alarming rhetoric toward the European Union, as how Turkey has been a force of instability.