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Chairman Gilman writes to Yilmaz and Simitis regarding Madrid principles

18 November 1997

The chairman of the House International Relations Committee, Congressman Ben Gilman (R-NY), recently sent a letter to the prime ministers of Turkey and Greece regarding the "accepted international principles" which they supported in Madrid, Spain. Gilman commended the two leaders for their convergence of views in Madrid and urged them to apply the principles embodied in the letter and the spirit of the Madrid agreement as they address the critical issues before them. Chairman Gilman also stressed that, "the entire international community benefits when challenges to sovereign rights are taken to the International Court of Justice at the Hague or other appropriate legal forums."

Chairman Gilman's letter to Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz and Greek Prime Minister Constantine Simitis stated that, "we all have an interest in addressing issues separating Greece and Turkey peacefully and in accordance with accepted international principles regarding sovereignty; in particular, international law, international treaties and the non-use of force or threat of force." This is particularly important, Gilman noted, because "in this time of increasing globalization and international interdependence, the well-being of all our countries is becoming increasingly linked." Gilman concluded that by acting in accordance with such international principles, "everyone -- the people of Greece and Turkey, those in other countries of your important region, and of the entire world -- will be the beneficiaries."

"Such public support for international and treaties and the use of the International Court of Justice to address challenges to such principles, is an important contribution to stability and peace in the Eastern Mediterranean," said Andrew A. Athens, president of the World Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE) and national chairman of the United Hellenic American Congress (UHAC).

"We greatly appreciate Chairman Gilman's effort, following recent Turkish provocations, to help keep the spirit of Madrid alive," said Andrew E. Manatos, president of the National Coordinated Effort of Hellenes.

For more information, please contact Mike Manatos <> at (202) 393-7790.