The Federation of Cypriot American Organizations honored former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on September 22. (Photo: TNH/ Christodoulos Athanasatos)
NEW YORK – With warm words for the attitude he showed towards the Republic of Cyprus but also towards Greek national issues in general during his tenure at the U.S. State Department, the Federation of Cypriot American Organizations (FCAO) honored former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo with the Freedom Award during the established annual testimonial dinner at Terrace on the Park in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, NY.
In the presence of President of the Republic of Cyprus Nikos Christodoulides, Mr. Pompeo, who, due to the inclement weather was unable to make the trip to New York, spoke live to the audience via video conference and expressed his thanks and his deep appreciation for Greece, Cyprus, and personally for His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.
Taking the floor, FCAO President Kyriacos Papastylianou, first addressed President Christodoulides, whom he congratulated on his election, recalling his unbreakable ties with the Hellenic-American community.
“Your ties to this community are strong and deep. We are excited and look forward to working closely with you. You have our warmest best wishes,” said Papastylianou, who also praised Mike Pompeo.
For his part, Pancyprian Association and PSEKA President Philip Christopher gave credit to Pompeo for his attitude towards Greece and the Republic of Cyprus, recognizing that he also contributed to the upgrading of their relations with the USA. Then, he referred to the efforts of Cypriot-American organizations and the battle they are fighting against Turkey’s powerful economic mechanisms.
“Against us we have a $100,000,000 machine from Turkish organizations and lobbies. It is these organizations that face this machine every day,” added Christopher, who, addressing Pompeo, said he was impressed by his knowledge of Greek history and the Persian wars, making parallels with today’s era.
“The difference is that there were mercenaries on the opposite side, while the Greeks were fighting for their homeland,” Christopher emphasized, adding that “we continue the work.”
In his own greeting, His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America pointed out that “we are here with the Greek-Cypriot organizations to remember our mission for justice in Cyprus,” adding that “the illegal occupation of Cyprus should not go unnoticed by the rest of the world.”
Afterwards, he praised the work of Mike Pompeo while wishing that “the dream of a united Cyprus will come true and we will live to see it.”
In his remarks, Pompeo, addressing the President of the Republic of Cyprus, said that “you are an excellent friend, but also a great leader for the people of Cyprus. Congratulations on your well-deserved election and I know you will do great things for the people of your country.” In addition, Mike Pompeo focused on the effort to ensure religious freedoms, which he said was an important priority for him, while he also recalled his trip to Constantinople and the meeting with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, of whom he spoke with warmly.
In his speech, President of the Republic of Cyprus Christodoulides said that “today we honor a close friend of Cyprus and Greece, who has been a staunch supporter of building closer ties between Cyprus, Greece, Israel, and the United States in order to preserve stability and security in Eastern Mediterranean.”
Also present were Archbishop Demetrios formerly of America, Consul General of Greece in New York Dinos Konstantinou, Permanent Representative of Greece to the United Nations Ambassador Evangelos Sekeris, Consul of Greece Dimitrios Papageorgiou, Ambassador of the Republic of Cyprus to the U.S. Evangelos Savva, Government Spokesperson Konstantinos Letymbiotis, Foreign Minister of the Republic of Cyprus Constantinos Kombos, diplomat Menelaos Menelaou, Permanent Representative of Cyprus to the UN Ambassador Andreas Hadjichrysanthou, and Ambassador Marios Lysiotis, recently appointed Diaspora and Repatriates Commissioner.
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