The participants were: The American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (Order of AHEPA), the American Hellenic Institute (AHI), B’nai B’rith International and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. The delegation is headed by Carl Hollister from AHEPA, Nick Larigakis from ΑΗΙ, Gary Saltzman from B‘nai B’rith and Stephen Greenberg from CoP.
The aim of the mission was to explore the major economic (business and tourism), energy sector and security developments underway with high-ranking government officials and visits to military installations.
The 18 member delegation met on Monday with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras at the Maximos Mansion. A press statement by the premier’s office said that Tsipras met with representatives of the American Hellenic Institute, AHEPA, B’nai B’rith και Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and confirmed the excellent level of bilateral relations of Greece with the United States and Israel.
The delegates expressed their support of Greek efforts and the country’s achievements in the sectors of economy and regional security and stability, as well as in the refugee crisis.
The prime minister and the visiting representatives also discussed issues of collaboration among Greece, Cyprus, Israel and the US while the latter said they would promote Greek issues whenever possible.
They have also had a long meeting at the Presidential Palace with Greek President Prokopios Pavlopoulos, who told them international rules and European laws provide the foundation on which all nations should resolve their national issues,
Pavlopoulos briefed the visiting delegation on foreign issues Greece is working on now, including those with FYROM, Turkey and Albania. He added that Greece was committed to improving relations with neighboring countries, but, he noted, respect of international treaties and laws by the other side is paramount.
They were also received – among others – by the Minister of Defense Panos Kammenos, U.S. Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey Pyatt etc.
House President Demetris Syllouris expressed his appreciation over the support of Greek American and Jewish American organizations towards a Cyprus settlement.
Addressing the meeting, Syllouris also referred to Turkey’s aggressive behavior towards Cyprus and other neighboring countries, and spoke about human rights violations Turkey.
From his part Hollister expressed their continuous support for a Cyprus settlement that will contribute to broader peace and stability, while Larigakis referred to the need to exert pressure on Turkey on behalf of the international community.
Greenberg spoke about the importance of developing US-Israeli bilateral relations and the benefits for cooperating countries, while Saltzman stressed theimportance of enhancing ties between Cyprus, Greece and Israel.
The President of the House also spoke about the parliamentary dimension of the trilateral cooperation between the three countries and underlined the need to expand cooperation, including more countries from the region. He concluded by saying that Cyprus may use its soft power in policy areas, such as culture, education, entrepreneurship and research.
The delegations was also received by the Minister of Defence Christoforos Fokaides.
During the meeting, they discussed about regional security, while they were informed by the Minister about the latest developments as regards the Cyprus issue, focusing on the issues on security and guarantees.