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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 321-97
June 19, 1997

STATEMENT BY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF DEFENSE KENNETH H. BACON

At a briefing today, I mistakenly said that the Aegean island of Imia is "under Greek sovereignty." In fact, the sovereignty of that island is in dispute between Greece and Turkey.

It is long-standing U.S. policy not to take a position on conflicting claims to sovereignty, or on other countries' boundary disputes. We believe this policy helps us to act, where appropriate, to facilitate the resolution of such disputes.

The State Department spokesman said on February 1, 1996: "Both Greece and Turkey claim sovereignty to that particular islet. We have decided, upon reflection, that we will not proclaim our view of sovereignty."