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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- MARCH 18, 1997

CONGRESSIONAL EFFORT TO SEND U.S. FRIGATES TO TURKEY FALLS SHORT

"Only nine members of Congress signed a letter sent to the President last week urging him to remove a congressional hold on the transfer of three U.S. frigates to Turkey. This follows last month's letters signed by 83 members of Congress urging the President not to allow the sale of four U.S. Sea Hawk helicopters to Turkey. This is a clear expression of the United States Congress on the subject of sending U.S. military equipment to Turkey," said Andrew A. Athens, national chairman of the United Hellenic American Congress (UHAC) and who, in another capacity, serves as president of the World Council for Hellenes Abroad (SAE).

"We would like to thank Greek-Americans across the country who worked with the National Coordinated Effort to inform their member of Congress of the problems with signing this letter urging the transfer of frigates to Turkey," said Philip Christopher, president of the Pancyprian Association of America and PSEKA.

"We are pleased that following our effort only three additional members of Congress chose to join the original six in signing this letter. Over nine times as many members were secured to protest the proposed Sea Hawk helicopter sale," said Andrew E. Manatos, president of the National Coordinated Effort.

Those nine members of Congress signing this letter to the President urging the transfer of frigates to Turkey included: Congressman Ed Whitfield (R-KY) [who spearheaded the effort]; Congressman Bob Livingston (R-LA) [chairman of the House Appropriations Committee]; Congressmen Dan Burton (R-IN), Amo Houghton (R-NY) and Alcee Hastings (D-FL) of the House International Relations Committee; as well as Congressmen Jack Metcalf (R-WA), Dan Schaefer (R-CO), Steven Schiff (R-NM), and Bill McCollum (R-FL).

For more information, please contact Mike Manatos at (202) 393-7790.

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