Armenian And Greek Americans Challenge U.S.-Turkey Free Trade Deal

ANCA-AHI

Urge End to Turkey’s Occupation of Cyprus; Lifting of Armenia Blockade as Precondition to New Trade Agreement

WASHINGTON—The Armenian National Committee of America and American Hellenic Institute this week urged the United States Trade Representative to require that any new U.S.-Turkey trade agreement require that Ankara ends its illegal occupation of Cyprus and lifts its unlawful blockade of Armenia.

In a March 26th letter to acting U.S. Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis, AHI President Nick Larigakis and ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian explained that the two communities welcome, in principal, the Obama Administration “leadership on the expansion of U.S. trade and investment based on a fair playing field and respect for the rule of law,” but stressed that, “in the case of Turkey, however, it is clear that the United States would not advance our national interests, our economic welfare, or our core values in any meaningful or enduring manner by rewarding a nation that so egregiously and flagrantly undermines the integrity of the global trading system by occupying a European Union member state and maintaining the last closed border in Europe.”

President Barack Obama notified Congress last week that his Administration would launch trade talks with the European Union aimed at forging the world’s largest free-trade area.  The Turkish press reported soon after the U.S. announcement that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayip Erdogan immediately had sent a letter to President Obama encouraging him to commence U.S.–Turkey free trade agreement talks in parallel with European Union negotiations.

The full text of the AHI-ANCA letter is provided below.

March 26, 2013

The Honorable Demetrios Marantis
Acting United States Trade Representative
Office of the United States Trade Representative
600 17th Street NW
Washington, DC 20508

Dear Ambassador Marantis:

On behalf of our respective communities, we are writing to encourage the Obama Administration to ensure that any future trade measures involving the Republic of Turkey, including both bilateral and European Union-related agreements, require, as a statutory precondition, that Turkey end its illegal economic blockade of Armenia and its unlawful military occupation of Cyprus.

We raise this concern in connection to the White House’s March 20, 2013 notification to Congress of its intent to negotiate a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the European Union, and the Turkish government’s own stated interest in joining this agreement and also in reaching its own Free Trade Agreement with the United States.

We welcome your leadership on the expansion of U.S. trade and investment based on a fair playing field and respect for the rule of law. In the case of Turkey, however, it is clear that the United States would not advance our national interests, our economic welfare, or our core values in any meaningful or enduring manner by rewarding a nation that so egregiously and flagrantly undermines the integrity of the global trading system by occupying a European Union member state and maintaining the last closed border in Europe.

We appreciate your attention to this matter, and would very much welcome both a written response to our concerns and the opportunity to meet with you and your staff to discuss these and other reservations in greater detail.

Sincerely,
Nick Larigakis
President, American Hellenic Institute
Aram S. Hamparian
Executive Director, Armenian National Committee of America

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3 Comments

  1. Hrant K. said:

    The hell with the last closed border of Europe, whatever happened to occupied Western Armenia and Cilicia?
    And what about recognizing the Armenian Genocide by Turkey and crushing the Kurdish population and attacking
    Kurdish journalists and bombing Northern Iraqi Kurdish Zone for crying out loud?

  2. George said:

    ………..in principal, the Obama Administration “leadership on the expansion of U.S. trade and investment based on a fair playing field and respect for the rule of law,”………………US to respect the rule of law? this must be the joke.of the day.

  3. kevork halablian said:

    nothing will happen they’re already in Nato and F-35 Buyer incirlik base,syria case etc,etc turkey one of defender of american interets

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