NEW YORK – The lessons the community should have learned 40 years ago can still be applied today at this latest critical juncture in the Cyprus crisis.
In addition to discussing his new book “Kissinger & Cyprus: A Study in Lawlessness,” that was the main message, expressed with clarity and passion – as ever – by Eugene T. Rossides on May 22.
Rossides kept his presentation brief and expanded the Q & A portion of the program.
Although he acknowledged that the community has made progress in its communications with public officials about its main issues – ending the Turkish occupation and re-unifying Cyprus, strengthening U.S. – Greece relations and protecting the Ecumenical Patriarchate and religious freedom in Turkey – he declared, “We can do much more.”
An affluent and successful community can and must, Rossides said, provide the resources for more paid professional staff to interact on a daily basis not only with Congress and the executive branch, as AHI and others try to do now and must do more, he said, but especially with the media.
Rossides’ book explores four themes: Kissinger’s illegal actions and responsibility for the Cyprus tragedy and its aftermath; Cyprus’s strategic and economic importance; Turkey’s actions as a rogue state and violator of US and international laws and, finally, the vital importance to the United States of absolute allegiance to the rule of law.
The final chapter discusses the need for the US to redress the situation in Cyprus by pressuring Turkey to withdraw its troops and settlers from Cyprus.
Rossides, who led the charge in defense of Cyprus and against the crimes of Kissinger in 1974, is the founder of the American Hellenic Institute, the Washington, DC-based “lobby, think-tank, business network, and educational foundation that informs and influences leaders, policymakers and citizens alike,” according to its informative website, ahiworld.org.
AHI’s position is always founded on the interests of the United States, like those of the American Jewish Committee (AJC), which just announced a new $80 million annual budget, and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) whose paid staff exceeds 100.
AHI has an energetic fulltime professional staff of three led by Nick Larigakis, AHI president and Rossides urges the community’s individuals and organizations to help it grow.
The guests were welcomed to Cyprus House by Philip Christopher, founder and president of the PSEKA, one of the organizations under whose auspices of the event was held, including the Consul General of the Republic of Cyprus, Amb. Vasilios Philippou, who was present, AHEPA, AHI, the Cyprus Children’s Fund, Cyprus – U.S. Chamber of Commerce , Hellenic American Leadership Council (HALC)and the Cyprus Trade Center.
Among the dignitaries present was Amb. Andreas Kakouris, former ambassador of Cyprus to the U.S.