(Washington, D.C., July 23, 2020)--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 have issued the following statement:
Our organizations are pleased the much anticipated Eastern Mediterranean pipeline received its final green light with the approval of the Israeli government. The cooperation amongst Israel, Greece, Cyprus, plus Italy, will help Europe to diversify its energy supply. The approval demonstrates the strengthening of ties and the significant progress the trilateral alliance has achieved in energy cooperation and the three countries’ leadership in the region to provide energy security, which our groups wholeheartedly welcome.
Separately, we welcome as another positive indicator that bilateral relations between Greece and Israel in defense and security cooperation continues to grow. This month, the Hellenic Parliament ratified a defense agreement with Israel, and the heads of Greek and Israeli militaries met to discuss deepening ties.
We look forward to the next trilateral summit to be held in Nicosia, Cyprus, as announced following June's meeting between the foreign ministers of Israel and Cyprus.
Finally, we are pleased to see legislative measures advancing through Congress that encourages and bolsters U.S. engagement with the Eastern Mediterranean partnership between Israel, Greece, and Cyprus, and we anticipate their passage.
We applaud the commitment to fostering peace, security, stability, and shared democratic values and ideals, in the region by all parties. We are pleased the relationship continues to progress across all sectors. We will continue to lend our broad diaspora support and encouragement for advancing the trilateral partnership and the United States’ commitment to it.
AHEPA, AHI, B’nai B’rith International, and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations completed their Fourth Biannual Leadership Mission to Israel, Cyprus, and Greece in January 2020. Their groundbreaking inaugural Leadership Mission to the three countries occurred in January 2014. The missions have been widely recognized and praised as contributing to intergroup and international cooperation and friendship.
In December 2018, the organizations co-sponsored an international conference held in Jerusalem titled, “New Realities in the Eastern Mediterranean.”
In August 2011 and December 2012, they co-organized roundtable discussions in New York City between leaders of the American Jewish and American Hellenic communities.
B’nai B’rith International has advocated for global Jewry and championed the cause of human rights since 1843. B’nai B’rith is recognized as a vital voice in promoting Jewish unity and continuity, a staunch defender of the State of Israel, a tireless advocate on behalf of senior citizens and a leader in disaster relief. With a presence around the world, we are the Global Voice of the Jewish Community. Visit www.bnaibrith.org.