NICOSIA – President Nicos Anastasiades awarded the Outstanding Contribution medal to six honorees of the Cypriot Diaspora for their contribution to the promotion of the rights of the Cypriot people, on Tuesday night, August 22. The honorees are Nikos Mouyiaris, Antonis Gerolemou, Andreas Karaolis, Costas Nikolaou, George Lazari, and Tasos Zambas.
Speaking during the ceremony, President Anastasiades said that their country owes them much and the award is nothing but a small gift for their contribution.
Speaking at the Presidential Palace during the reception in honor of delegates of the World Conference of the Overseas Cypriots (POMAK), the International Coordinating Committee Justice for Cyprus (PSEKA) and POMAK Youth (NEPOMAK), President Anastasiades noted the “act of respect and the obligation of the State towards its citizens, who contributed and continue to contribute selflessly and without calculation.”
“We honor tonight six of our distinguished countrymen who acted and act on important decision-making centers in the UK, the USA, South Africa, and Australia, countries with which the Republic of Cyprus maintains excellent relations,” said President Anastasiades.
He continued, saying that the honorees contributed greatly in shaping their effective organized network in the countries in which they live, he said, addressing the issue whenever need pushes us to seek support for a legitimate request.
“Cyprus has huge potential and offers creative people, as demonstrated by our sterling compatriots who today we honor, excel everywhere, wherever they live, around the world,” he said.
Addressing the Greeks abroad, President Anastasiades said that “you have made yourself a permanent ambassador of our national problem, our language, our culture, and our traditions” while “transferring your Cypriot origin into a title of honor along with the ethos that this title encompasses.”
Speaking earlier, the Commissioner for Humanitarian Affairs and Overseas Affairs Fotis Fotiou said that “we are honoring six of our respected overseas compatriots today” within the framework of the institution established over the past two years for the award of honor by the President of Cyprus Republic for the Outstanding Contribution medal to important personalities.
These people, through their personal and longterm activities abroad, have worked tirelessly with perseverance and determination to defend the rights of Cypriot Hellenism and have made the greatest contribution to community affairs, said Fotiou.
Significant factors for honoring them are their action in highlighting the national problem and their unselfish contribution to the struggle to resolve it, he concluded.
Speaking on behalf of the winners, Nikos Mouyiaris gave thanks for the honor that, he said, belonged to all the Greeks abroad, while making special reference to PSEKA President Philip Christopher and his contribution to Cyprus and Greece.
“We struggled and will continue to struggle for a free and independent Cyprus,” said Mouyiaris, adding that we all need to work together, “left, right, centrist, and independent, for the good of our country and people.”
“Love for the homeland is a way of life,” said Mouyiaris and called on those who could to help financially in the efforts of the expatriates. Noting the example of Jewish organizations abroad, he said that “we need money to organize professionally in America, London, Brussels, and elsewhere” to influence decision-makers.
Also present at the reception were representatives of political and state leadership, deputies, and state officials.
It was preceded by the briefing of the Central Council of the Overseas by President Anastasiades and the placement of wreaths at the statue of the first President of the Republic of Cyprus, Archbishop Makarios III, in the prefecture of the Presidential Palace.