WASHINGTON, DC – Supreme President George E. Loucas has issued the following statement:

“We applaud Congress for passage of a bipartisan, comprehensive FY2019 funding bill that bolsters support for U.S.-Greece relations with a $1 million appropriation for Greece’s International Military Education and Training program; a program that advances the professional military education of the Greek Armed Forces. A strong IMET program will ensure relationships are cultivated, and it will have a lasting beneficial impact toward the strengthening of United States-Greece military-to-military relations.

“In addition, we commend Congress for providing robust funding for the Department ofHousing and Urban Development’s Section 202 Housing for the Elderly program that includes funding to renew all contracts for Section 202 Housing. This is much needed relief for providers and residents following the 35-day partial government shutdown. Further, the bill provides $51 million for the construction of new units.

“We thank congressional appropriators and their staffs, congressional leadership, and our champions, for substantial investment in a multitude of federal programs important to our mission and U.S.-Greece relations.”

“Finally, we are pleased Congress addressed Turkey’s provocative and counterproductive behavior in this bill. The bill contains provisions and report language that address: Turkey’s purchase of Russia’s S-400 missile defense system, the transfer of the F-35 jet fighters to Turkey, and the ‘wrongful or unlawful prolonged detention’ of American citizens and locally-employed State Department or USAID staff in Turkey. Further, the bill also aims to bring to justice the members of the Turkish Presidential Protection Directorate responsible for the May 2017 brutal attack on peaceful protesters in Washington, DC.”