WASHINGTON, DC — The American Hellenic Institute (AHI) applauds an increase in the funding level for Greece’s International Military Education and Training (IMET) program that the Senate Committee on Appropriations approved in its Fiscal Year 2018 Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Bill on September 7, 2017. U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Agencies, successfully advocated for the increase, which would appropriate $425,000 for Greece’s IMET program if enacted. The $425,000 funding level is $275,000 above the Trump administration’s recommended funding level.
“Greece is a frontline state in the fight against terrorism and is important to United States security interests in the region,” AHI President Nick Larigakis said. “AHI has advocated for increased military cooperation between longtime NATO allies, Greece and the United States, and this investment in Greece’s IMET program will go a long way toward enhancing that cooperation.”
Larigakis added, “We sincerely appreciate the advocacy of Senator Van Hollen. The investment in Greece’s IMET program that is in the bill would not have been possible without his personal time and investment. We call for the Senate’s passage of the bill and its enactment.”
In addition, Senator Van Hollen, and Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), offered an amendment that prohibits U.S. taxpayer dollars from funding the sale of weapons to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s security detail. The amendment passed via voice vote.
“We thank Senators Van Hollen and Leahy for sponsoring the amendment, Chairman Lindsey Graham for his support, and applaud the amendment’s adoption by the committee,” Larigakis said.
The American Hellenic Institute is an independent non-profit Greek American public policy center and think tank that works to strengthen relations between the United States and Greece and Cyprus, and within the Greek American community.
For additional information, please contact Peter Milios at (202) 785-8430 or at [email protected] For general information about the activities of AHI, please see our website at http://www.ahiworld.organd follow us on Twitter @TheAHIinDC.