World Bulletin / News Desk
The U.S. House of Representatives is to vote on a bill calling for the State Department to monitor the return of property confiscated from Christians in Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
The Foreign Affairs Committee will put a bill before the House to provide annual assessments on the status of, and U.S. efforts to return, property such as churches to the former Christian owners.
Republican Committee Chairman Ed Royce and ranking Democrat Eliot Engel introduced the bill in March. It received bipartisan support in committee, but was met with opposition from Democrats Gerry Connolly and Gregory Meeks.
“It simply does not reflect the relationship the U.S. has cultivated with Turkey, a close and trusted NATO ally,” said Connolly. “Passing this legislation will lead to a rupture in our relationship with Turkey at a time when the preservation of our strategic alliance should be a top priority.”
If the bill is adopted, the U.S. Secretary of State will have to report no later than 180 days later on the State Department’s engagement with Turkish authorities to return Christian properties, and would have to do so until 2021.
In addition, all information would have to be summarized in the U.S. annual country reports on human rights.
The bill is unlikely to go for a full vote until after the summer recess.Last Mod: 27 Haziran 2014, 09:33