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Public Statements

Naval Vessel Transfer Act of 2012

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. BILIRAKIS. Thank you, Madam Chairwoman. I appreciate it very much.

Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to H.R. 6649, the Naval Vessel Transfer Act of 2012. As part of this legislation before us, the United States would transfer two Oliver Hazard Perry class guided missile frigates to the Government of Turkey.

I have serious concerns, and I oppose this military transfer, Mr. Speaker, because the Turkish navy, as recently as last year, held naval live-fire exercises in the eastern Mediterranean. These provocative exercises took place near the natural gas fields of Israel and the Republic of Cyprus and threatened to disrupt peaceful and productive economic activity. Instead, Mr. Speaker, it is my hope that, in the eastern Mediterranean, Congress will continue to work to foster the relationships between the United States, Greece, Israel, and Cyprus in order to promote and foster issues of mutual, economic, and diplomatic importance.

For those reasons, Mr. Speaker, I oppose the bill.

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