COVENTRY, RI – Led by Democrat Rhode Island State Senator Leonidas Raptakis, Republican New York State Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, and Republican Wyoming State Senator Stephan Pappas and eight other bipartisan Hellenic-American elected officials from across the United States have signed and sent letters to the Vice Mayor Stratos Amigdalos of the Greek island of Kastellorizo and also communicated their message to South Aegean Governor George Hatzimarkos, expressing their support for the community in the face of Turkish threats in the region.
“The territorial integrity of your island deserves to be protected, especially now that the Turkish government’s actions are only seeking to bring conflict and instability to the region,” the letter said. “We believe there is no gray area, only the black and white facts of what is laid out in the Law of the Sea and other international treaties.”
The Turkish government is threatening to violate the territorial integrity of several Greek islands, a violation of the exclusive economic zones (EEZs) set forth in international law. Military flights over the island have increased, causing a decline in tourism and threatening stability in the Mediterranean.
The letter went on to say that in ignoring the established EEZ designations, “the Edrogan regime threatens to brand itself as a lawless entity, a pariah state deliberately embarking on a course of action that is absolutely unnecessary and provocative.”
The letter concluded, “We intend to continue working with our government and the international community to seek a resolution to this matter which reflects your territorial rights and maintains the principle of sea zones set forth by responsible international agreements.”
Included in the delegation were as follows:
Themis Klarides, Republican Minority Leader of the Connecticut House of Representatives
Nicole Klarides, Republican, Connecticut State Representative
Sandra Pappas, Democrat, Minnesota State Senator
Maria Tzanakis Collette, Democrat, Pennsylvania State Senator
Nicole Maliotakis, Republican, Assemblywoman New York and candidate for United States Congress for Brooklyn and Staten Island)
Leon Stavranakis, Democrat, South Carolina State Representative
Lynn Afendoulis, Republican, Michigan State Representative and candidate for United States Congress
Steve Malagari, Democrat, Pennsylvania State Representative
John Spiros, Republican, Wisconsin State Representative