NEW YORK – In the shadow of the impasse brought about by the Turkish intransigence in the talks on the Cyprus issue, but also of the upset caused by the presence of Archbishop Elpidophoros of America at the Turkish House reception, the Federation of Cypriot American Organizations (FCAO) held its Annual Testimonial Dinner and honored a leading scientist and Greek immigrant, Dr. Stelios Papadopoulos, at Terrance on the Park in Flushing on September 24.
Dr. Papadopoulos is considered a mentor for prominent and successful executives in the pharmaceutical industry, including Dr. Albert Bourla, the Chairman and CEO of Pfizer.
Addressing the President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades, FCAO President Kyriacos Papastylianou, expressed his satisfaction with the President’s speech at the UN General Assembly, welcoming "the initiatives to break the deadlock.”
“Mr. President, in your speech at the General Assembly today, you highlighted Turkey's absurdities, aspirations, and setbacks to what was agreed. We know and welcome the initiatives and proposals that you submit for overcoming the impasse but also your determination for the reunification of the island. You have our support and we will always be by your side,” said Papastylianou, who, regarding Dr. Papadopoulos, noted that “the Federation honors a distinguished scientist, a Greek immigrant, the father of Biotechnology, as he is known.”
PSEKA President Philip Christopher referred to the realization of this well-established event after two years, due to the pandemic, during which well-known and active members of the Greek Diaspora and Greek-Cypriot Hellenism passed away. Regarding Dr. Stelios Papadopoulos, he noted that this is a Greek immigrant who "worked hard, was educated, and lived the American dream,” while he sent a message regarding the great superiority of the Greek Cypriot community over the amount of money Turkey spends on propaganda.
“He is spending money and we are facing a campaign of millions on the part of the Turks. Only if we stay united can we face this campaign. Turkey does not have the community we have,” said Christopher.
In his speech, President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades expressed his emotion and pride attending the Federations’ Annual Testimonial Dinner for the eighth year in person, noting the unfavorable developments in the efforts to resolve the Cyprus problem and emphasizing the need for the Greek Cypriot side to stand up to the circumstances.
"The perpetrator pretends to be the victim. Some things need to be said. Do not succumb to any pressure and blackmail. We are right, we have the principles and values of the international organization that protects us, we are a full member of the EU and we must respect the principles and values of the European family. We cannot be less Greek than our ancestors, those who knew that freedom is won through struggle," said Anastasiades.
The President of the Republic of Cyprus then addressed the issue in relations with the Archbishop Elpidophoros of America, who was absent from the dinner, expressing the reaction of the Greek Cypriot side for His Eminence’s presence at the Turkish House with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, but also the Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar.
"I say with great respect and great appreciation and I do not want to create a problem in the community, because the head of the Church in America has a role to play. We must realize that regardless of nationality, what exists in our DNA and is not altered by naturalizations is the DNA of the Greek. I want to assure you that despite the bitterness that was caused and wanting to feel that we must be united, we must delete what happened, the note was taken, the mistake I want to believe was recognized,” said Anastasiades, a few hours before his meeting with the Archbishop of America, after which “the matter was considered over.”
In his own speech, Dr. Stelios Papadopoulos, a leading executive in Biotechnology with worldwide recognition, movingly recounted his first years in the United States and the ties he developed with the Greek Cypriot community.
In particular, although of Pontian descent, he made many Greek Cypriot friends while playing for an amateur Greek Cypriot soccer team, when still, as a student, he was looking for a way to stay close to soccer, which was his favorite hobby.
Through this process, he made lifelong friendships, which he did not forget, despite his establishment and development in his field.
The event was attended by, among others, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus Nikos Christodoulides, Ambassador of Greece to the United States Alexandra Papadopoulou, Ambassador of the Republic of Cyprus to the U.S. Marios Lysiotis, Permanent Representative of Cyprus to the UN Andreas Hadjichrysanthou, Ambassadors Andreas Mavroyiannis, Koula Sofianou, and Thessalia Siambou, Consul General of Greece in New York Dr. Konstantinos Koutras, Member of Parliament Marios Pelekanos, and Consul General of the Republic of Cyprus in New York Michalis Firillas.
The chairman of the event was Nikos Paphitis and the coordinator was Anna Savva.