American Hellenic Institute (AHI) President Nick Larigakis submitted written testimony to the House of Representatives Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs on the Biden Administration’s foreign aid proposal for FY2022 on June 11, 2021.
In written testimony, President Larigakis stated in the best interests of the United States that AHI opposed: (1) any proposed foreign aid and assistance to Turkey from the United States; (2) any proposed reduction in the aid levels for the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus.
AHI advocated that the current funding level for NATO ally Greece’s International Military Education and Training (IMET) program be raised from $1 million to $1.5 million appropriation for Greece’s IMET program, as had been authorized in The Eastern Mediterranean Security and Energy Partnership Act. The Act passed as part of the FY2020 government funding package in December 2019. The Eastern Mediterranean Security and Energy Partnership Act also authorized, for the first time, $500,000 for the Republic of Cyprus’ IMET program, which was then appropriated by Congress. The AHI informed the subcommittee that the $500,000 received for the Republic of Cyprus’ IMET must be maintained.
In addition, AHI recommended that a minimum of $10 million in appropriations be allocated in foreign military financing to Greece.
“We thank Chairwoman Lee, Ranking Member Rogers, and members of the Subcommittee, for the taking our testimony into consideration as they formulate their bill,” Larigakis said. “It is vital to ensure the Greek American community’s positions on American foreign aid to this increasingly vital region are presented and entered into the public record.”
The House Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs is chaired by U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA). U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY) is the Subcommittee’s ranking member.
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