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Legislation Introduced Regarding The Maritime Borders Between Greece And Turkey In The Aegean
April 5, 2001 No. 20/01 (202) 785-8430

Legislation Introduced Regarding The Maritime Borders Between Greece And Turkey In The Aegean

On April 4, 2001, Rep. Robert Andrews (D-NJ) introduced H.Con.Res.97 "expressing the sense of the Congress regarding Turkey's claims of sovereignty over islands and islets in the Aegean." The Resolution, introduced at the initiative of the American Hellenic Institute Public Affairs Committee (AHIPAC), establishes that:

  1. "the water boundaries established in the 1923 Lausanne Treaty of Peace, the 1932 Convention and Protocol between Italy and Turkey, and the 1947 Paris Treaty of Peace, under which the Dodecanese islands and adjacent islets were ceded by Italy to Greece, are the borders between Greece and Turkey in the Aegean Sea; and
  2. any party, including Turkey, objecting to these established boundaries should seek redress in the International Court of Justice at The Hague."
H.Con.Res.97 express the lawful view of the House of Representatives that the boundaries between Greece and Turkey in the Aegean have been established once and for all and that islands and islets on the Greek side, including the islets of Imia, are the sovereign territory of Greece.
As of April 5, 2001, the following representatives have signed on as original co-sponsors: Rep. Michael Bilirakis (R-FL), Rep. James McGovern (D-MA), Rep. Connie Morella (R-MD), Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), Rep. Michael Capuano (D-MA), Rep. Rod Blagojevich (D-IL), Rep.Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Rep. Michael McNulty (D-NY), Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-NY), and Rep. Joseph Knollenberg (R-MI).
H.Con.Res.97 incorporates language initiated by AHIPAC and first introduced November 7, 1997 by Rep. Mike Pappas (R-NJ) in the 105th Congress. It also incorporates language from Amendment 19 to H.R. 2415 introduced by Rep. Andrews and passed by the House of Representatives by a unanimous vote on July 21, 1999.

Regarding the resolution, AHIPAC Chairman Nick Chimicles stated:

"AHIPAC commends Rep. Andrews for introducing this resolution. It reaffirms the core American interest in the rule of law. AHIPAC thanks the current co-sponsors and urges all members of Congress to consider co-sponsoring and supporting H.Con.Res.97."

AHI Executive Director Nick Larigakis also stated:

"In the coming weeks, AHIPAC will encourage members of the Greek American community to write, call, phone, or email their local Representatives to urge them to co-sponsor and support H.Con.Res.97. Congress will be in Easter recess from April 9 to April 20, and as Representatives return to their home districts, we ask our supporters to make every effort to contact them."