American Hellenic Institute (AHI) President Nick Larigakis has presented public witness testimony to the House of Representatives Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs on the Trump administration’s foreign aid proposal for the Fiscal Year 2020 budget.
In his testimony Tuesday, Larigakis said AHI opposed, in the best interests of the United States any assistance the administration will request for Turkey until Ankara withdraws all of its troops and illegal Turkish settlers from the island of Cyprus; and Turkey ceases and desists its acts of aggression in the Aegean. Larigakis said the organization also opposed any reduction in the administration’s proposed aid level of $5.7 million for the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP).
Furthermore, the AHI chief applauded the FY2019 enacted level of funding of $1 million for NATO ally Greece’s International Military Education and Training (IMET) program and supported a recommended $1.2 million appropriation for FY2020.
In addition, AHI recommended appropriations language on two policy issues to be included in FY2020’s bill: Ensuring UNFICYP can fully implement its mandates and holding Turkey accountable for its purchase of S-400 missiles from Russia.
“It is vital to ensure the Greek American community’s positions on American foreign aid to this increasingly vital region are presented and entered into the public record,” Larigakis said.