Greek & Cypriot leaders pledge to continue work for justice in Cyprus
by Maria Myles
New York, Sep 16 (CNA) -- The Greek and Cypriot leaders as well as leaders of the Greek and Cypriot American community here have pledged to continue their efforts until justice is done in Cyprus, pointing out that they work in concert and towards the same goal, to see this East Mediterranean island free of the Turkish occupation.
The pledges were made at the 2005 annual awards gala of the Cyprus Federation of America, which honoured Greek Premier Costas Karamanlis and his Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis.
Present at the dinner was Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos, who in his brief remarks to a packed hall at the Hilton hotel here, stressed that there is no discord between Nicosia and Athens in the cause of offering support for the question of Cyprus.
On a more personal note, Papadopoulos said he has never had a better relation with a prime minister of Greece than the one he enjoys with Karamanlis.
Papadopoulos said relations with Athens are based on ''trust and absolute frankness and we never have any disagreements in the cause in supporting the Cyprus cause.''
''Never before have I had with a prime minister of Greece the level of good relations I have with Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis,'' he said of the honoured premier.
Greece, he added, ''is the real, constant, truthful supporter of Cyprus and we rely on them and it is that feeling which prompts us to honour them, and in honouring them we honour Greece as a whole.''
As for Molyviatis, the President described him as ''a wise man'', said Molyviatis gives him ''the best advice'' he can have and noted the good cooperation they have enjoyed over the years.
Prime Minister Karamanlis ''fully confirmed'' what Papadopoulos had said and added ''Greece remains unwaveringly committed to a just and viable solution in Cyprus'' on the basis of UN resolutions and in full conformity to the European Union principles.
He also said that any new initiative for a settlement must be ''diligently prepared'' to ensure success.
Molyviatis said he was thankful but also embarrassed to have been the recipient of the award.
''All I did was nothing else but my duty. A lot remains to be done and it will be done, we will succeed,'' he said of the effort to find a negotiated settlement in Cyprus, adding that he would continue to work towards this goal.
Senator Paul Sarbanes talked about the need for a just and lasting solution in Cyprus and said ''we look forward to celebrating that solution in Cyprus''.
He said Cyprus and its people should not be punished for rejecting a UN solution plan in April last year and pledged to continue the struggle for ''justice and freedom.''
In his remarks, President of the Cyprus Federation of America Panikos Papanikolaou referred to the charitable work of the Federation but noted that most of its efforts are directed towards the question of Cyprus.
He assured President Papadopoulos of the Federation's support and said he was ''very proud'' of the stance the President has adopted.
Addressing guests at the annual awards gala, Philip Christopher, President of the Coordinating Committee Justice for Cyprus, commended Papadopoulos for his stance and added ''we have promises to keep to our parents and our children'' to see to it that justice is done in Cyprus.
Andrew Athens, President of the World Council of Hellenes abroad, welcomed the concerted action and the cooperation among Cypriot and Greek organisations in America and elsewhere and said that Greek Americans are dedicated to the cause of justice for Cyprus, adding that they do have an impact on the decision-making bodies in the US.
His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America welcomed the award bestowed on the Greek Premier and his foreign minister and reiterated his wish for justice in Cyprus.
Present at the dinner were among others Cyprus' Foreign Minister George Iacovou, the Director of the President's Diplomatic Office Ambassador Tasos Tzionis, Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Andreas Mavroyiannis, Cyprus' Ambassador to the US Evripides Evriviades, Greek American leaders and scores of people.