AHI Submits Testimony to House Appropriators on FY2019 Foreign Aid to Eastern Mediterranean

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No. 25

WASHINGTON, DC — The American Hellenic Institute (AHI) submitted testimony to the House of Representatives Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs on the Trump Administration’s foreign aid proposal for FY2019 on April 20, 2018. 

In the best interests of the United States, AHI’s testimony opposed: (1) any military assistance the administration will request for Turkey until: Turkey withdraws all of its troops and illegal Turkish settlers in Cyprus and Turkey ceases and desists its acts of provocation and aggression in the Aegean; (2) a reorganization of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) that would prevent its authorization from doing business in Greece—a policy shift achieved in 2016 due to Greece’s economic crisis; (3) aid the administration will request for the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) until a mutually-agreeable solution to the name-recognition issue is achieved; and (4) any reduction that might be introduced in the aid levels for the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus. 

Also, in keeping with the best interests of the United States, AHI applauded the FY2018 enacted level of funding of $1 million for NATO ally Greece’s International Military Education and Training (IMET) program and supported a recommended appropriation of $1.2 million for FY2019.

In addition, AHI’s testimony recommended that appropriations language be included in the bill that addressed how United States foreign assistance can help solidify a reunified Cyprus and its government in the event of reunification. 

“It is vital to ensure the Greek American community’s positions on American foreign aid to this increasingly vital region are submitted for the public record via the subcommittee’s acceptance of written testimony,” President Nick Larigakis, who authored the testimony, said.  “We thank the subcommittee for the opportunity to submit our testimony which is presented in the best interests of the United States.”

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