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AHEPA Press Release: Legislation on Cyprus Issue Passes In U.S. House, 97-07-22

American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association

- A H E P A -

Office of Public and Government Affairs

Press Release

1909 Q St., NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20009         Tel: 202.232.6300
Fax: 202.232.2140   Web Site:   E-Mail:

For Immediate Release                          Contact: George Savidis or 
                                              Constantine Demetracopoulos
July 22, 1997                                                202.232.6300


Washington, DC, July 22 -- Legislation calling for a resolution of the Cyprus issue passed virtually unanimously in the U.S. House of Representatives today after a substantial effort by the Greek American community.

"This legislation brings Congress into an important supporting role in the current efforts to move the Cyprus problem forward. We hope that Ankara is getting the message that its policies of aggression and division will not stand," said AHEPA President Spiro Macris.

The legislation, House Concurrent Resolution 81, had been cosponsored by a bipartisan group of 51 members of Congress after its introduction by Representative Ben Gilman (R-N.Y.) in mid-May. In tonight's vote the full U.S. House of Representatives passed the bill by 417 for and four against.

Among the efforts currently taking place are U.N. sponsored direct negotiations between Cypriot President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash. Those face-to-face talks began in New York earlier this month and a second set of negotiations will take place in Switzerland from August 11-16. The Clinton Administration has also signaled a much higher level of interest by appointing Ambassador Richard Hoolbrooke as its point man on the Cyprus issue, and by brokering a Greek-Turkish agreement significantly reducing tensions in the Aegean during the recent NATO summit in Madrid.

AHEPA had asked all its chapters and a vast network of activists to write to members of Congress in support of H.C.R. 81. It had also directly worked in Washington in support of the legislation through its Office of Public Affairs. Other groups such as PSEKA, SAE, AHI and the Coordinated Effort had all also supported and worked for the legislation.

AHEPA is asking all its members, and Greek Americans at large, to help in its effort to move H.C.R. 81's Senate equivalent forward. That bill was introduced last week as S.C.R. 41. AHEPA is also working on legislation in support of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, now in the House as H.C.R. Six, and in the Senate as S.C.R. 24.

For more information contact George Savidis at 202.232.6300.

The AHEPA Office of Public and Government Affairs represents the largest Greek American organization in Washington AHEPA is the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association.