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Contact Your U.S. Representatives—Urge Them to Co-Sponsor Congressional Resolution on FYROM Name Recognition Issue

TO: AHI Chapter Presidents, Congressional Contact Team Leaders, Members and Friends
FROM: Nick Larigakis, AHI President
DATE: April 26, 2012
Re: CONTACT YOUR U.S. REPRESENTATIVES – URGE THEM TO CO-SPONSOR CONGRESSIONAL RESOLUTION ON FYROM NAME RECOGNITION ISSUE

BACKGROUND

Macedonia was part of the ancient Hellenic world much like Sparta and Athens.  Its population worshipped the same Hellenic Gods, spoke the same Hellenic language and participated in the Olympic Games which at the time were open to Greeks only.

Geographic Macedonia is within the borders of at least three countries. Only a small portion of geographic Macedonia lies within the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), whose population is one-third Albanian and two-thirds Slavic in origin. The largest part of geographic Macedonia lies within Greece in the Greek province of Macedonia. 

The Interim Accord signed by Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) in 1995 required negotiations for a new name for FYROM.  However, no breakthrough has been accomplished.  Today the negotiations are stalemated because FYROM maintains that the only name that is acceptable to it is its original “constitutional” name of “Republic of Macedonia.” In addition, FYROM demands include the recognition of a Macedonian identity and language, which is problematic for Greece.

Moreover, FYROM promulgates propaganda in which it claims portions of Greek territory and usurps Greek national identity and culture in conflict with European values.  FYROM’s actions are a breach of the U.N.-brokered Interim Accord and erode efforts to build trust and good neighborly relations.

Congressional Resolution Introduced

As a result, U.S. Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), co-chairs of the Hellenic Caucus, have introduced H.Res.627, expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia should work within the framework of the United Nations process with Greece to achieve longstanding United States and United Nations policy goals of finding a mutually acceptable composite name, with a geographical qualifier and for all uses for the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

The legislation, H.Res.627, also calls on FYROM to abstain from all hostile activities and stop violating provisions of the United Nations-brokered Interim Agreement and urges the United States Government to work in partnership with North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies to uphold previous NATO Summits decisions, with regard to the enlargement issue and extend an invitation to FYROM as soon as a mutually acceptable solution to the name issue has been reached within the framework of the United Nations.

STATUS

  • H.Res.627 was introduced April 19, 2012. 
  • It has 5 co-sponsors as of 4/26/12 (listed below). 
    • U.S. Representative Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) 
    • U.S. Representative Gus Bilirakis (R-NY) 
    • U.S. Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA) 
    • U.S. Representative Frank Pallone (D-NJ) 
    • U.S. Representative Albio Sires (D-NJ)


ACTION

We urge you to contact your U.S. representative and request him/her to co-sponsor H.Res.627.

  • If you do not see your U.S. representative as a co-sponsor above, please contact his/her office today.
  • Ask to speak with the Legislative Director or Foreign Affairs Legislative Assistant.
  • Advise them you are a constituent, calling from [city or town] and that you’d like the representative’s support by co-sponsoring H.Res.627.
  • Advise the Congressional staff person to contact Congresswoman Maloney’s or Congressman Bilirakis’ office to sign on as a co-sponsor.
  • If you do see your legislator as a co-sponsor, please contact him or her to offer your thanks.


NOTE:
Please send a copy of your correspondence, or provide notice of a phone call made, to Demetra Astaloglou at demetra@ahiworld.org.
 


TALKING POINTS

  • Greece strongly supports the Euro-Atlantic aspirations of FYROM having not only acquiesced to but also supported its status as a candidate country for accession to the EU and to its joining the Membership Action Plan of NATO.
  • FYROM’s irredentist and provocative acts toward Greece are clear violations of the 1995 Interim Accord between Greece and FYROM and these acts demonstrate that FYROM is unwilling to demonstrate good faith toward  its neighbor Greece; a condition which must exist for the two countries to come together and resolve the name issue, and ultimately, for FYROM to attain NATO membership.
  • Simply stated, FYROM cannot join NATO until it resolves its differences with NATO Alliance members Greece, Bulgaria, and Albania.

 

CONTACT BY TELEPHONE

  • Contact your members of Congress by telephone by dialing the U.S. Capitol switchboard at 202.224-3121.

 

CONTACT BY EMAIL/INTERNET

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCE

 

QUESTIONS?

For further information or questions, please contact AHI, (202) 785-8430, or email demetra@ahiworld.org.

THANK YOU!