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Statement on U.S. position on Greek-Turkish territorial disputes

By John Sitilides1 <>, Executive Director, The Western Policy Center

For Immediate Release
Contact: Maro Verrios 916-383-7000
Friday, September 26, 1997

"We commend the recent State Department clarification of policy regarding the resolution of Greek-Turkish territorial disputes.

"The United States should not pressure allies to negotiate sovereignty or internationally recognized borders. International treaties and agreements, recognized by both Greece and Turkey for decades, must be defended and upheld against unilateral assault.

"Turkey currently challenges the sovereignty of several hundred Greek islands, of Greek territorial waters, and of Greek national airspace, but refuses to recognize International Court of Justice jurisdiction as a resolution mechanism for any of its claims.

"In keeping with the spirit of the Madrid non-aggression agreement, the Administration should urge Turkey to join Greece in peacefully resolving the continental shelf delimitation question before the ICJ. Any other territorial disputes should be similarly resolved through peaceful, mutually acceptable mechanisms."

1[The Western Policy Center is a public policy corporation monitoring U.S. geostrategic interests in southeastern Europe.]