FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact Brianne Nadeau 202-225-4016 or [email protected]
Washington, DC – On November 17, 2011, the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee approved a measure that would grant special trade preferences to Turkish entities investing in tribal lands that are held in trust by the United States. The measure was approved by the committee after an amendment offered by Congressman Sarbanes seeking to expand the measure to all nations who comply with democratic principles and human rights was put aside upon a procedural point of order.
“This legislation unequivocally violates our trade treaty obligations by offering preferential investment incentives to Turkey, a country that has not yet fully embraced democratic principles, is hostile to US commercial activity in the Eastern Mediterranean, denies its peoples the free exercise of religious freedom and human rights, illegally occupies EU member Cyprus, undermines United States foreign policy objectives in the Caucuses by blockading Armenia and promotes hostility on the world stage against our steadfast ally Israel,” said Congressman John Sarbanes (D-MD). “We need to ensure higher standards for our allies and trading partners, and demand that they value our democratic principles. The legislation streamlines investment in tribal lands held in trust by the United States for Turkish entities only. Turkish entities are inexplicably handed a profit opportunity over business interests of any other country. “
Congressman Sarbanes submitted into the record statements offered by community organizations that opposed the Bill as follows: The American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association, the Armenian National Committee of America, the PSEKA/Cyprus Federation of America, the Pancyprian Association, the Armenian Assembly of America, and the American Hellenic Council of California.