WASHINGTON, DC —Ekathimerini, the online version of the Athens, Greece daily newspaper Kathimerini, published a commentary authored by American Hellenic Institute (AHI) Board Member Counsel Nickolas G. Karambelas, Esq. titled, “US law recognizes Aegean treaty regime in Dodecanese,” on February 21, 2019.
In the piece, Karambelas, a partner at Sfikas & Karambelas LLP, who also serves as AHI volunteer legal counsel and on the Board of Directors, writes about the rule of law from a United States perspective and how it applies to the Aegean treaty regime dating back to the United States’ involvement in the Dodecanese with the Treaty of Lausanne in the 1920s. The United States was not a signatory to the Treaty of Lausanne, which confirmed the occupation of the Dodecanese islands and islets to Italy. However, under the Treaty of Peace with Italy of 1947, to which the United States is a signatory following World War II, the Dodecanese Islands and adjacent islets were ceded by Italy to Greece. As a result, the Treaty of Peace with Italy is U.S. federal law and binding on the U.S. government. Therefore, Karambelas raised the question of whether, and how, the Treaty of Peace with Italy, as U.S. law, is relevant to the ongoing fulminations of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan against the Aegean treaty regime.
“When President Erdogan denigrates the Aegean treaty regime and there is no forceful reply from U.S.officials, US law as well as international law is compromised,” Karambelas writes.
Karambelas also explores if there is an effective means to redress the failure of the U.S. government to respond to challenges to U.S. law set forth in the Treaty of Peace with Italy. He identifies the U.S. Congress as the most practical and effective forum.
“The US sets a dangerous precedent and undermines its credibility in its own disputes when it ignores or derogates from the legal principles of the Aegean treaty regime,” he concludes.