AHI delegation in Cyprus expresses settlement optimism
Nicosia, June 8 – American Hellenic Institute chairman Eugene Rossides expressed optimism over a final solution to the Cyprus issue, provided that the significance of the role which Cyprus could play for the US in the Middle East is correctly evaluated.
Speaking at a press conference with AHI members who have joined him in a tour of Nicosia and Athens from June 4-15, Mr. Rossides also said that Cyprus’ importance for the US should be discussed and promoted the right way, “so that when we are talking about Cyprus in the US, it is not only from the Turkish occupation aspect”.
He said the issue was raised last year due to Cyprus’ tremendous efforts to evacuate foreign nationals from Lebanon, noting that 14 thousand Americans were evacuated. This was still being raised and that AHI’s wish is to build on this, he added.
Stressing the importance which Cyprus can have for the US role in the Middle East, Mr. Rossides wondered “how can they talk about democracy in the Middle East when they are not supporting a Cyprus’ solution?”
He expressed AHI’s support to efforts to solve the Cyprus problem noting that three factors which can help towards this are Cyprus’ accession to the EU, the fact that the US was deceived by Turkey when it refused in March 2003 to allow US troops to pass through its territories to invade Iraq from the north. The third factor is assessing the significance which Cyprus can have for the US in the Middle East and throughout the world.
He then referred to the achievements of AHI, noting “we react immediately when a problem is raised and we are happy to see that there is a correct approach lately.” He also disclosed that AHI has prepared a documentary on Cyprus which will be presented on national television.
AHI has also prepared a questionnaire which will be handled to the candidates in the 2008 US presidential elections.
The delegation flies to Athens tomorrow to hold talks with Greek government officials and other dignitaries so as to promote national issues.