US presidential candidate and former vice president Joe Biden expressed his commitment to “call out Turkish behavior that is in violation of international law or that contravenes its commitments as a NATO ally,” in a statement released by his campaign office yesterday on his vision for Greek Americans and US-Greek relations.
He also noted that he has “long opposed the Turkish occupation of northern Cyprus and supported a comprehensive settlement to reunify the island.”
The statement further underscored that Biden “recently called on the Trump administration to press Turkey to refrain from further provocative actions in the region against Greece, including threats of force.”
As the US presidential elections enter the final stretch, the Democratic candidate talks of his commitment to a “strong dialogue with both Greek-American leaders and the leadership of Greece to sustain the bond between our countries” and to “advance stability in the Eastern Mediterranean.”
In the statement the candidate outlines four commitments aimed at restoring stability in the Eastern Mediterranean and supporting the rights of NATO ally Greece.
“Unlike President Trump, Joe will call out Turkish behavior that is in violation of international law or that contravenes its commitments as a NATO ally, such as Turkish violations of Greek airspace.”
Biden will also “work diplomatically to bring a resolution to the Cyprus question,” the announcement said, reminding that with his trip to the divided island in 2014 he became the first sitting vice president to visit in more than 50 years, “and led White House diplomatic engagement on the Cyprus question.”
As noted, Biden “has long opposed the Turkish occupation of northern Cyprus and supported a comprehensive settlement to reunify the island as a bizonal, bicommunal federation with political equality.”
If elected, he will also “continue to be a strong voice for religious freedom globally, including the rights of the Greek Orthodox Church.”
“Joe has long been a strong supporter of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and given unwavering support for the ability of the Patriarchate to function in its role as the center of the Greek Orthodox Church. He treasures his visit in 2011 to the Patriarchate and each of his meetings with His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. He has called on Turkey to permit the reopening of the Halki Seminary and criticized the recent decision of the Turkish government to convert the Hagia Sophia into a mosque,” the announcement said.
“Throughout his many years in public life, Joe Biden has a long record of engagement on issues important to Greek Americans and a record of support for strengthening the US-Greece relationship. He has worked personally with Greek leaders over many decades to strengthen the alliance,” it said.