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Foreign Policy Reform Act

On May 6, 1997, the Committee on International Relations of the United States House of Representatives reported favorably on the bill H.R. 1486, the Foreign Policy Reform Act, with an amendment and recommended that the bill as amended do pass. The bill's objectives are to consolidate international affairs agencies, to reform foreign assistance programs, to authorize appropriations for foreign assistance programs and for the Department of State and related agencies for fiscal years 1998 and 1999, and for other purposes.

The following are excerpts from the "Foreign Policy Reform Act".
Complete Text:


Sec. 425. Loans for Greece and Turkey

Sec. 501.

Sec. 1712. Sense Of Congress Relating To Recognition Of The Ecumenical Patriarchate By The Government Of Turkey.

105th Congress
1st Session


May 9, 1997.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union and ordered to be printed

Mr. Gilman, from the Committee on International Relations, submitted the following


together with


[To accompany H.R. 1486]

The Committee on International Relations, to whom was referred the bill (H.R. 1486) to consolidate international affairs agencies, to reform foreign assistance programs, to authorize appropriations for foreign assistance programs and for the Department of State and related agencies for fiscal years 1998 and 1999, and for other purposes, having considered the same, report favorably thereon with an amendment and recommend that the bill as amended do pass.


Of the amounts made available for fiscal year 1998 under section 23 of the Arms Export Control Act (22 U.S.C. 2763)--

(1) not more than $12,850,000 shall be made available for the subsidy cost, as defined in section 502(5) of the Federal Credit Reform Act of 1990, of direct loans for Greece; and

(2) not more than $33,150,000 shall be made available for such subsidy cost of direct loans for Turkey.

Sec. 425.--Loans for Greece and Turkey. Section 425 authorizes not more than $12,850,000 in fiscal year 1998 for Foreign Military Financing (FMF) under section 23 of the Arms Export Control Act for the subsidy cost to support a direct military assistance loan program for Greece of $122.5 million and not more than $33,150,000 in fiscal year 1998 for the subsidy cost to support a direct military assistance loan program for Turkey of $175 million. This fully funds the President's request for fiscal year 1998.

No military assistance loans for Greece or Turkey are authorized for fiscal year 1999.


The Committee is deeply concerned about the continuing division and foreign military occupation of Cyprus and the recent increase in tensions on the island. The Committee considers that the status quo on Cyprus is unjust, unacceptable and increasingly unstable, and an urgent effort by the international community is accordingly required to resolve it. The Committee strongly encourages the Administration to follow through on its declared intention to play a ``heightened role'' in promoting a just resolution of the Cyprus problem.

The Committee firmly believes that it is in the interest of the United States to launch an early substantive initiative to achieve a peaceful, just, viable and lasting solution on the basis of international law, democratic principles, respect for human rights and the provisions of relevant U.N. Security Council Resolutions. These resolutions, most recently, 1092/96 of December 23, 1996, appropriately define the basis for such a settlement as, ``a state of Cyprus with a single sovereignty and international personality and a single citizenship, with its independence and territorial integrity safeguarded, and comprising two politically equal communities as described in the relevant Security Council Resolutions in a bi-communal and bi-zonal federation, and that such a settlement must exclude union in whole or in part with any other country or any form of partition on secession.''

The current military situation on Cyprus, in particular the large number of Turkish occupation troops, is also a constant source of tension and instability, both on the island and in the wider region. Recent foreign arms transfers and the threat of increased armaments on Cyprus are also of concern to the Congress. The Committee reaffirms its view, most recently embodied in H. Con. Res. 42 and in the 104th Congress, that the security concerns of all parties concerned can most effectively be met with the complete withdrawal of all foreign occupation forces from the island and the total demilitarization of Cyprus, to be replaced by alternative internationally acceptable and effective security arrangements as negotiated by the parties. Such security arrangements will strengthen peace and stability and in the region, be to the benefit of all the people of Cyprus, and enhance prospects for a lasting resolution of the problem.

The prospect of Cyprus accession to the European Union (EU) can also serve as a catalyst for efforts to reach a comprehensive settlement. Negotiations for Cyprus' accession are set to begin six months after the conclusion of the EU Intergovernmental Conference (which is expected to end in June of this year). This prospect provides a positive dynamic and window of opportunity for a solution and in the coming year.

Cyprus' accession to the EU, as well as a just and viable Cyprus settlement, will be significant economic, political and security benefit to all Cypriots. A Cyprus solution will also remove a point of contention between Greece and Turkey and can allow the prospect of full normalization of the often tenuous Greco-Turkish relationship, bringing greater stability to the Eastern Mediterranean and directly benefiting U.S. security interests. The prospects of reaching a lasting settlement on Cyprus are facilitated through increasing bicommunal contact, cooperation and reconciliation. The traditionally allocated $15 million from the Economic Support Fund each year for Cyprus is used for projects involving such bicommunal activities and thus plays a significant role and in promoting prospects for peace on Cyprus. The Committee strongly recommends that the annual allocation of $15 million for Cyprus be continued for both fiscal years 1998 and 1999.

Eastern Mediterranean

It is in the national interest of the United States to hold all countries, particularly U.S. allies, to internationally accepted standards of conduct. The United States, the European Union and many countries have publicly underlined the need to protect peace and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean region through the adherence to international treaties and the respect for territorial integrity and internationally recognized borders of all countries. Those who question the application or interpretation ofinternational treaties should have recourse to a proper international judicial or consensual body according to established international legal practice.

The United States and other countries have also expressed strong public opposition to the use of force or the threat of force by any country to resolve such matters. It is essential to peace and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean that all countries abide by these internationally accepted standards of conduct.


It is the sense of the Congress that the United States--

(1) should recognize the Ecumenical Patriarchate and its nonpolitical, religious mission;

(2) should encourage the continued maintenance of the institution's physical security needs, as provided for under Turkish and international law; and

(3) should use its good offices to encourage the reopening of the Ecumenical Patriarchate's Halki Patriarchal School of Theology.

Sec. 1712.--Sense of Congress relating to recognition of the Ecumenical Patriarchate by the Government of Turkey. Section 1712 expresses a sense of Congress that the United States should recognize the Ecumenical Patriarchate, located in Istanbul, Turkey as the spiritual center for more than 300 million Orthodox Christians worldwide, including some 5 million in the United States. It was under the leadership and guidance of the Ecumenical Patriarchate that the constitutional and dogmatic framework of the Christian Church was formulated. The Ecumenical Patriarchate, founded in 38 AD, is the locale where the New Testament was codified, and the Nicene Creed first written. The present Ecumenical Patriarch, Bartholomew is the 270th successor of St. Andrew who served as the first Patriarch some 2,000 years ago.

In recent years the Ecumenical Patriarchate has experienced a number of security threats in Turkey. On September 30, 1996, the Patriarchate came under grenade and machine gun attack during which an explosion damaged the roof of the Patriarchal Cathedral and blew windows out of the sleeping quarters. On May 28, 1994, three powerful bombs were found and diffused by Turkish security forces only a few minutes before they were to detonate. On March 30, 1994 two firebombs were hurled into the Patriarchate. The Ecumenical Patriarch and those associated with the Ecumenical Patriarchate are Turkish citizens and entitled to the full protection of Turkish law.

The reopening of the Halki Patriarchal School of Theology, the only educational institution for Orthodox Christian leadership in Turkey is vital for the long-term viability of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. The Turkish government closed the school in 1971. Turkish law requires that the Ecumenical Patriarch, as well as all the clergy, faculty and students, to be Turkish citizens. The Halki school is the only educational institution in Turkey for Orthodox Christian leadership. The closing of the school is in violation of international treaties to which Turkey has been a signatory, including but not limited to the Treaty of Lausanne, the 1968 Protocol, the Helsinki Final Act (1975) and the Charter of Paris.

The Committee strongly supports the recognition of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the reopening of the Halki Theological Seminary. It believes that the U.S. government should use its diplomatic resources to actively encourage the Turkish government along these lines, and also to continue to ensure the security of the Patriarch and property belonging to the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul.

[Excerpted from the Foreign Policy Reform Act.]
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