WASHINGTON, DC — The American Hellenic Institute (AHI) applauds bipartisan congressional action that urges the U.S. Department of State, under the aegis of Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo, to eliminate the prohibition on the transfer of defense articles and services to the Republic of Cyprus under 22 CFR § 126.1. Fourteen U.S. representatives signed the December 11, 2018 letter to Secretary Pompeo that also highlights Turkey’s unlawful occupation of the Republic of Cyprus.AHI backed the letter which Congressional Hellenic Caucus Co-Chairs, U.S. Rep. Maloney (D-NY) and Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), spearheaded.
“We thank Representatives Maloney and Bilirakis for their leadership on this issue and the fourteen members of Congress for standing-up for the United States’ strategic partner, Cyprus. AHI President Nick Larigakis said. “We contend the State Department has the legal authority to remedy what has been, for years, an unlawful prohibition on arms transfers to the Republic of Cyprus. It is in the best interests of the United States for the Republic of Cyprus to look to the United States, and not any other nation, to procure its defense materials.”In addition to U.S. Reps. Bilirakis and Maloney, the U.S. representatives who supported the letter were: John Sarbanes (D-MD), Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Dina Titus (D-NV), David Cicilline (D-RI), Steve King (R-IA), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Charlie Crist (D-FL), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Lee Zeldin (R-NY), Brad Sherman (D-CA) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL).
In August, AHI announced the publication of an Issue Brief on the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) under which the United States has prohibited the sales of U.S. defense articles/services to the Republic of Cyprus since 1985.
In June, AHI discussed the issue with State Department officials and submitted a memorandum with the key points which are in the Issue Brief. AHI also submitted the memorandum to the co-chairs of the Congressional Caucus on Hellenic Issues.