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Associations

AHI Responds to Opinion Piece on Eastern Mediterranean

WASHINGTON, DC – The American Hellenic Institute (AHI) responded to points made in an August 8, 2022, opinion piece authored by Nicholas Saidel published by The Hill, a top U.S. political website important to policymakers, politicians, and election campaigns.

Although Saidel made several positive points in his piece such as, “the U.S. should mediate the maritime dispute between Turkey and Greece-Cyprus,” including his assessment of the geostrategic importance of the Eastern Mediterranean and Turkey’s unreliability due to its cooperation with adversaries such as Russia, he incorrectly states Greece’s militarization of the Aegean islands is “destabilizing.” Saidel also misconstrues the term “mediation” when he states that the United States should “mediate the dispute between Turkey and Greece-Cyprus” and that the United States should help negotiate a “maritime accord.”

In his Letter to Editor, AHI President Nick Larigakis presents several points to clarify Saidel’s inaccuracies in his opinion piece. First, Larigakis states Greece has every right under the UN charter and international law to defend its sovereign territory and must do so in the face of Turkey’s aspirations to impose a fundamentalist Islamic and neo-Ottoman hegemony over the region.

In addition, Larigakis devotes a large portion of his letter to addressing how the Saidel misconstrues the term ‘mediation’, stating that mediation works only if there exists a good faith dispute between the parties and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, given his extremist positions, “will not abide by the traditional mediation process.”

Greece’s sovereignty over the Aegean islands is derived from, and settled by, treaties and international law. Therefore, a compromise cannot exist on what is already settled. Furthermore, Larigakis states the United States is not an impartial mediator because it will inherently pursue its own interests in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Larigakis rebuts Saidel’s suggestion that the United States should mediate the “maritime dispute” between Turkey and “Greece-Cyprus.”

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