Washington Departure of Ambassador Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis
After five years of service as the Ambassador of Cyprus to the United States, Mrs. Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis was hailed upon her departure as a ?determined, effective and articulate advocate for her country.? Ambassador Marcoullis returns to Nicosia at the end of August, where she will be in charge of the Division at the Foreign Ministry with responsibility for what is generally known as the Cyprus problem?the forcible division of the Republic of Cyprus imposed for twenty-nine years by Turkey?s military occupation.
In a career in the Cypriot Foreign Service that spans more than twenty-three years, Ambassador Marcoullis held concurrent ambassadorial accreditation to Canada, Brazil, Jamaica and Guyana while serving as Ambassador to the United States. Prior to her U.S. service, she served as Ambassador to Sweden with concurrent accreditation to Finland, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
At a reception on August 25 for more than 300 guests hosted by the Embassy of Cyprus to honor her tour of duty, Mrs. Marcoullis? ambassadorship was celebrated by current and former U.S. government officials, representatives of Congress, international diplomats, representatives from Washington?s ?think tanks? and media organizations, businesses and community leaders. Dignitaries among the guests at the Embassy reception included the U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Marc Grossman, State Department Special Coordinator for Cyprus Ambassador Tom Weston, former Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen, former White House Chief of Staff John Podesta, former U.S. Ambassador to Cyprus Donald Bandler and many Ambassadors from around the world. Other distinguished guests included leaders and members of the Cypriot and Greek-American communities and many friends of Cyprus.
The Ambassador Bids Washington Farewell
In a farewell message that appeared in the Embassy?s August Cyprus Newsletter, the Ambassador wrote: "I feel extremely gratified that my departure comes at a time of excellent U.S.-Cyprus relations and effective cooperation at all levels, primarily in the struggle to rid the world of the scourge of terrorism."
Referring to the prospect for an end to the division of Cyprus, she pointed out that: "The million-plus crossing over the dividing line since last April and the fraternal feelings among Greek- and Turkish-Cypriots have already demolished the mental wall of separation that Turkey tried to fabricate to keep the Cypriots divided?I depart with optimism that the prospect of reunification is today more real. I have enormous trust in the judgment of our people, and I know that this present state of affairs of occupation and division, which is unacceptable and makes no sense, will soon come to an end, allowing the Cypriot people to enjoy the fruits of peace, progress, stability and security within the European family of nations." Cyprus signed the Accession Treaty to the European Union last April, ratified it in July and will become a full member of the E.U. in May 2004.
Final Meetings with Official Washington
In the weeks leading up to her departure, Ambassador Marcoullis discussed recent developments concerning Cyprus with several leading U.S. State Department policymakers, including Undersecretary for Political Affairs Marc Grossman, Undersecretary for Global Affairs Paula Dobrianski, USAID Administrator Andrew Natsios, Assistant Secretary for Europe and Eurasian Affairs Elizabeth Jones and Special Coordinator for Cyprus Tom Weston.
She also reviewed the situation in the Congress, where on July 23, a luncheon honoring Ambassador Marcoullis was held in the Members dining room of the U.S. Capitol Building, co-hosted by Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Andy Manatos, President of the National Coordinated Effort of Hellenism. Guests included Senator Paul Sarbanes (D-MD), Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL), Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY), Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) and Peter Deutsch (D-FL). Additional Congressional office meetings were held with Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE), Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Rep. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Rep. Robert Andrews (D-NJ).
Congressional Record Tributes
On July 25, two members of Congress paid tribute to Ambassador Marcoullis in the Congressional Record. Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) stated:
?I have had the great honor and privilege of working with Ambassador Marcoullis. I have come to regard her not only as a determined, effective and articulate advocate for her country, but also as a friend? One of Ambassador Marcoullis? greatest achievements has been simply to sustain and enhance up the visibility of the Cyprus issue. Cyprus is a relatively small country, but it is at the center of a region of great importance to the U.S. and the Western Alliance. Ambassador Marcoullis has been tireless in her efforts to elevate the awareness of these issues.?
From the other side of the aisle, Rep. Michael Bilirakis (R-FL) wrote:
?I want to bid a fond farewell to Cyprus?s Ambassador to the United States, Mrs. Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis, after nearly 5 years of service in our nation?s capital. I want to praise the Ambassador for her tremendous efforts and contributions to accomplishing awareness among Members of Congress and Administration officials of Cyprus? desire to be reunified. She will be missed.?
Salutes from the Cypriot and Greek-American Communities
On July 23, the American Hellenic Institute (AHI) bid a warm farewell to the departing Ambassador at a dinner held in her honor where Ambassador Marcoullis was presented by AHI with the Institute?s Hellenic Heritage and National Public Service Award in recognition of her diligent endeavors promoting a strong and collaborative relationship between Cyprus and the U.S. during her tenure in Washington.
Also in Washington, The Hellenic American Women Council hosted a farewell event on July 26 that featured an audio-visual salute to the Ambassador?s career. It was followed by a dinner on August 10 in her honor by the Pancyprians of Metropolitan Washington. In New York, the Ambassador?s tenure in the United States was praised at events hosted by the Cyprus Federation, the International Coordinating Committee Justice for Cyprus (PSEKA) and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America on July 24. And at the annual national convention of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association, held in Phoenix, Arizona, the Ambassador was honored with a special farewell event on August 1, where she was presented with the ?AHEPA 2003 Aristotle Award.?
Several farewell events in honor of the Ambassador of Cyprus were also organized by a distinguished roster of diplomatic peers, including the Ambassadors of Luxembourg, Greece and Zambia.as well as by Washington DC prominent personalities such as Mrs Esther Coopersmith and others.
Ambassador Marcoullis will assume her new duties at the Cyprus Foreign Ministry in Nicosia on September 1. Currently serving as Ambassador to The Netherlands, Mr. Euripides L. Evriviades, who previously served as Cyprus? envoy in Israel, will be the new Ambassador of Cyprus to the United States beginning in October.