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AHI points out Turkish obligations vis -a-vis Cyprus in view of US aid to Turkey
2005-04-18 13:54:29

Nicosia, Apr 16 (CNA) -- The American Hellenic Institute (AHI) has asked that the immediate removal of Turkish occupying troops from Cyprus and the prompt return to Turkey of Turkish settlers from Cyprus are among the conditions set out for Turkey in a bill before the US House providing for the allocation of 10 million dollars aid to Turkey.

According to an AHI press release, in a testimony before the US House Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Operations, Financing and Related Programs, AHI Executive Director Nick Larigakis also opposed the allocation of 20 million dollar aid to Cyprus, as ''the project services proposed do not serve the US goal for reunification'' of the island.

As Larigakis noted, AHI opposes the 20 million dollar aid for Cyprus, ''as not in the best interests of the US because it is not tied exclusively to joint Greek and Turkish Cypriot communal projects.''

''The project services proposed do not serve the US objective for reunification, on the contrary, some of these projects upgrade the illegal regime in the north, thereby furthering the division of the island'', Larigakis added.

''AHI would support the 20 million dollars aid for Cyprus if there is full transparency and accountability in the use of the aid and the allocation of the funds is for joint communal projects'', Larigakis noted.

Regarding Turkey, AHI opposes all military and economic aid to Turkey in the current bill, because it is not conditioned on Turkey meeting the conditions of the immediate removal of all occupying troops from Cyprus, the prompt return to Turkey of over 110.000 illegal settlers from the island, the safeguarding by the Turkish government of the Ecumenical Patriarchy and its personnel and property, the reopening of the Halki Theological School, the returning of the church properties illegally seized and the termination of violations against Greece's territorial integrity in the Aegean and in Greek airspace.

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