WASHINGTON, DC – The International Coordinating Committee Justice for Cyprus (PSEKA) hosted an online celebration of the 60th Anniversary of the Independence of the Republic of Cyprus on September 30.
Among those participating was American Hellenic Institute (AHI) President Nick Larigakis who shared remarks alongside members of Congress, Cypriot and Greek government officials, and other leaders of Greek and Cypriot American organizations. Larigakis conveyed the importance of resolving the injustices Cyprus faces so that “Cyprus and the people of Cyprus can be whole, free and at peace,” adding that “it is still the U.S. that has the fundamental wherewithal to put the pressure on Turkey.”
Larigakis also expressed his congratulations to the organizers of the event, PSEKA President Philip Christopher and President of Manatos & Manatos, Mike Manatos.
The event celebrated Cyprus’ independence but also addressed the Cyprus problem and how tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean continue to affect the nation.
President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades recognized the persistent issues Cyprus faces and explained his efforts “to convey commitment and determination to use all diplomatic means of labor” moving forward.
“Cyprus is experiencing new Turkish aggression extending to the seas surrounding Cyprus,” Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides said during his remarks.
American and Cypriot officials highlighted the importance of continuing to improve U.S.-Cyprus relations and how beneficial the relationship is for both sides.
Presidential Commissioner Photis Photiou expressed a “strong and growing desire to deepen the relationship with the U.S. in all areas.”
U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) echoed these sentiments adding, “we have made significant progress in U.S.-Cyprus relations and there is enormous potential to grow more.”
In acknowledging this progress, Ambassador Marios Lysiotis remarked, “for this progress, I would like to thank the members of Congress on this call that have worked so hard for advancing a bilateral relationship between the U.S. and Cyprus.”
The program commenced with an opening prayer from His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros Government officials who provided remarks included President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades, Foreign Minister of Cyprus Nikos Christodoulides, Under Secretary of State for Management Brian Bulatao, Commissioner of the Presidency of Cyprus for Humanitarian Affairs and Overseas Cypriots Photis Photiou, Ambassador of Cyprus to the U.S. Marios Lysiotis, Ambassador of Greece to the U.S. Alexandra Papadopoulou on behalf of the Prime Minister of Greece Kyriakos Mitsotakis. Additionally, members of Congress participated, including: U.S. Senator Robert Menendez, who is the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations; Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs Eliot Engel (D-NY), and U.S. Reps. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), Brad Sherman (D-CA), Ted Deutch (D-FL), all of who are members of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. The program also featured a video compilation of remarks from twenty other members of Congress. Special guest speaker American Jewish Committee CEO David Harris also addressed the audience.
AHEPA Supreme President George Horiates, HALC Executive Director Endy Zemenides, and Federation of Cypriot American Organizations President Kyriacos Papastylianou also offered anniversary greetings.