HALC and AJC urge Secretary Pompeo to hold Turkey accountable

Dear Secretary Pompeo:

In advance of your meeting with Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias tomorrow in Vienna, we are writing to express our concerns regarding Turkey’s destabilizing behavior in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Turkey’s challenge to Greek sovereignty through the deployment of the survey ship Oruc Reis, along with an armed naval escort, is a clear and present danger that must be met with clarity from the United States.

It has been a longstanding goal of the American Jewish Committee (AJC) to encourage collaboration in the Eastern Mediterranean. AJC is proud of its partnership with the Hellenic American community, which, acting together, helped to upgrade bilateral ties between Greece and Israel, as well as between Cyprus and Israel. For the last decade, AJC and the Hellenic American Leadership Council (HALC) have worked to deepen that trilateral relationship, and to, in effect, make it a quadrilateral partnership with the United States.

The various “3+1” initiatives and the passage of the Eastern Mediterranean Security and Energy Partnership Act have made the dream of the quadrilateral partnership into a reality. Turkey’s attempts to undermine this partnership — and the positive regional developments that flow from it — must be unequivocally condemned.

We urge you to make it clear that the continued challenges to Greek and Cypriot sovereignty by Turkey are unacceptable to the United States, and to call on Turkey to immediately cease the provocative activities of the Oruc Reis, honor the previously agreed upon moratorium on exploratory activities in waters in which Greece claims jurisdiction, and return to the negotiating table.

Thank you for your consideration of our views, and best wishes for your meeting in Vienna.

Read the full letter from HALC and AJC here:

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