WASHINGTON, DC – On June 30, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12), Co-Chair and Co-founder of the Congressional Caucus on Hellenic Issues, and Congressman Gus Bilirakis (FL-12), Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on Hellenic Issues, joined with the Congressional Hellenic Israel Alliance and Rep. John Sarbanes (MD-03) to host a panel discussion on Turkey’s destabilizing actions in the Eastern Mediterranean region.
The panel focused on Turkey’s actions that risk further violence and threaten stability of the region, and legislative solutions that Congress can pursue to address these issues.
“Under President Erdogan, the Turkish government has evolved from a democratic, reliable ally into an autocratic state that selfishly and dangerously jeopardizes the Eastern Mediterranean region over its international obligations,” said Congresswoman Maloney. “Ankara continues to exploit the Syrian refugee crisis to blackmail our NATO allies, threaten the sovereignty of Greece and stymie the reunification of Cyprus, and violate human rights and international norms through its military incursions into Syria and Libya. As the co-founder and co-chair of the Hellenic Caucus, it is imperative that we in Congress continue to hold Turkey accountable for its provocative behavior that threatens our allies, the stability of the region, and our national security.”
“It is important that we safeguard U.S. interests and values in the Eastern Mediterranean by deepening relations with reliable Western allies. Yesterday’s forum was an important step forward in this effort. In an increasingly unstable region, and with Turkey making a decisive turn away from the West, the Greece-Cyprus-Israel partnership with the US is more important than ever. America’s energy diplomacy, security and counterterrorism strategies, and efforts against Russia, Iranian, and Turkish malign influences will all be strengthened by such continued cooperation,” said Congressman Bilirakis.
Joining the panel were:
- Dr. Elizabeth Prodromou, Professor of conflict resolution at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University
- Dr. Alon Ben-Meir, Professor at NYU’s Center for Global Affairs and Senior Fellow at the World Policy Institute
- Mr. Endy Zemenides, Executive Director of the Hellenic American Leadership Council.
The video of the panel discussion is available online: