Copyright: www.ahepa.org

Note: AHEPA was established July 26, 1922, by visionary Greek-Americans to protect all from prejudice originating from the KKK, and in its history, AHEPA has joined with the NAACP and B’nai B’rith to fight discrimination. The mission of the AHEPA family is to promote the ideals of Hellenism, education, philanthropy, civic responsibility and family and individual excellence

Supreme President Ike Gulas lauded recent statements made independently by Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE), chairman, Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Rep. Robert Wexler (D-19-FL), chairman, House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe, which called for Turkey to consider the withdrawal of Turkish troops from Cyprus with officials from the U.S. Department of State today.

Among topics that included visa waiver program expansion and AHEPA’s 2008 Supreme Convention in Athens, Gulas made it a point to bring up the recent Congressional statements as evidence of an improvement in policy toward the Eastern Mediterranean.

”We wanted to be clear that we unequivocally welcome these statements and that this is the constructive direction we desire to see the United States’ policy headed,” said Gulas.  “This is in the best interest of the United States.”

In remarks entered into the Congressional Record on July 26, Chairman Biden stated, “Turkey should begin the withdrawal of troops from Cyprus. The presence of these forces is neither justified nor necessary and complicates efforts to return the island to a state of lasting peace.” 

Moreover, in a letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Chairman Wexler wrote, “…it would be beneficial to Turkey’s national interest to review its current troop deployment on Cyprus which seems to be disproportional—given the low threat level facing Turkish Cypriots… I believe the Turkish government should consider at an appropriate time offering a gesture of goodwill to draw down a portion of its armed forces on Cyprus—commensurate with actual actions on the ground.”

Furthermore, Wexler’s letter:  
1)recognized the importance of the July 8 agreements and proceeding with them.  He called on the United States to be active on that front;
2)cited a solution for Cyprus based under UN resolutions calling for bi-communal, bi-zonal federation
called to the Secretary’s attention the need for attention to religious sites;
3)recognized the incident-free crossings as a testament that both Greek-Cypriots and Turkish-Cypriots can get along.

Recently, Wexler also joined the Congressional Caucus on Hellenic Issues.  He also co-chairs the Congressional Caucus on Turkey.

“Our meeting with our colleagues at the State Department was productive,” said Gulas.  “We discussed a plethora of issues on our agenda and we look forward to continuing our strong working relationship with them.” 

We use cookies

We use cookies on our website. Some of them are essential for the operation of the site, while others help us to improve this site and the user experience (tracking cookies). You can decide for yourself whether you want to allow cookies or not. Please note that if you reject them, you may not be able to use all the functionalities of the site.