AHI President Visits Greece and Cyprus for Series of Meetings, Events

Minister of Defense Evangelos Apostolakis, AHI President Nick Larigakis, and Lt. General Christos Christodoulou, Chief of the Hellenic National Defense General Staff, were among those attending the ceremony. Photo: (Courtesy of the American Hellenic Institute)

WASHINGTON, DC – American Hellenic Institute (AHI) President Nick Larigakis completed a successful overseas trip to Greece and Cyprus, January 24-29. The trip’s purpose centered on the invitation for President Larigakis to address the Greek chapter (named Aegean–Macedonia) of the Young Presidents’ Organization’s (YPO) “In the Boardroom” event held at the Grand Bretagne on January 28. Larigakis spoke to an audience of 21 entrepreneurs of major Greek commercial, shipping, and industrial companies about the geopolitical developments impacting Greece and Cyprus and surrounding countries.

“I thank the chapter officers for the invitation to speak to a dynamic group of entrepreneurs,” Larigakis said.
While in Athens, Larigakis met with U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt at the U.S. Embassy; Diplomatic Advisor to the Greek Prime Minister Evangelos Kalpadakis, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Terence Quick, and Elisabeth Fotiadou, director, A7 Directorate for North America at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In addition, AHI held an inaugural Vasilopita-cutting ceremony at the Athens Club on January 26. There, Larigakis provided an overview of AHI’s policy work highlighted by a recap of AHI’s 2018 Annual Report. AHI-Athens President George Economou welcomed the audience and participated in the vasilopita-cutting ceremony. U.S. Ambassador Pyatt and his wife, Mary; Vice Admiral Nikolaos Tsounis, chief of the Hellenic Navy General Staff; and George Koumoutsakos shadow minister of Foreign Affairs, New Democracy party, also attended.

AHI President Nick Larigakis with Presidential Commissioner for Humanitarian Affairs and Overseas Cypriots Photis Photiou. Photo: (Courtesy of the American Hellenic Institute)

Also, on January 28, Larigakis attended a ceremony involving the transfer of power for the position of chief of the Hellenic National Defense General Staff from Admiral Evangelos Apostolakis, who now serves as minister of Defense, to Captain Christos Christodoulou, former chief of Aviation General Staff.

Larigakis made a day-trip to Cyprus on January 25 to meet with Cypriot Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulidis and Presidential Commissioner for Humanitarian Affairs and Overseas Cypriots Photis Photiou. In addition, Chief of the Republic of Cyprus National Guard Lt. General Ilias Leontaris hosted Larigakis for lunch at the Officers’ Club.

I had a very productive series of high-visibility meetings in Greece and Cyprus,” Larigakis said. “I appreciated the opportunity to meet with these government officials to assess the issues in the region as head into 2019.”

Officers at the ceremony. Photo: (Courtesy of the American Hellenic Institute)
AHI President Nick Larigakis greeting the guests. Photo: (Courtesy of the American Hellenic Institute)
AHI-Athens President George Economou cutting the Vasilopita with AHI-Athens Vice President Vasilis Kyriazis, at right. Photo: (Courtesy of the American Hellenic Institute)
Archimandrite Nikolaos Ioannides of St. George, Karitsis blessing the Vasilopita. Photo: (Courtesy of the American Hellenic Institute)