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10-02-09 AHI’s Proactive Outreach on Capitol Hill Yields Substantive Meetings

Capital Report

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: C. Franciscos Economides
October 2, 2009—No. 02 (202) 785-8430

AHI’s Proactive Outreach on Capitol Hill Yields Substantive Meetings

 

WASHINGTON (October 1, 2009)—The American Hellenic Institute outreached to several congressional offices during the 2009 congressional summer recess to discuss issues of importance to the Greek-American community.

Pennsylvania Senatorial Candidate Joe Sestak Responds Favorably to AHI Policy Statements

Over the summer, the American Hellenic Institute presented U.S. Senatorial candidate, U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak (D-7-PA), with a copy of AHI’s Greek-American policy statements.  The Sestak Senatorial campaign office issued a prompt and favorable response to the Greek-American community.

“The Greek-American community has made invaluable contributions to the heritage and productivity of the United States, and Greece represents a beacon of democracy that is admired for its history and contributions in furthering democratic principles around the world,” wrote Rep. Sestak.

“We welcome Congressman Sestak’s strong support of the policy statements,” said AHI Executive Director Nick Larigakis.  “Our aim is to get more candidates on the record about their positions on Hellenic-American issues.”

Rep. Sestak is running in the Democratic primary against U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA).

The congressman’s entire response to the policy statements are available for downloaded at www.ahiworld.org.

AHI Visits Offices of Three Congressmen Who Traveled to Turkey

In addition to obtaining responses to the AHI Greek-American policy statements, AHI conducted more than 25 meetings with congressional staff over the summer recess period.

The meetings, organized by AHI Director of Government Affairs Alex Aliferis, were held with the staffs of: U.S. Reps. Walt Minnick (D-1-ID), Vic Snyder (D-2-AR), Spencer Bachus (R-6-AL), Kevin McCarthy (R-22-CA), Alan Grayson (D-8-FL), Mike Quigley (D-5-IL), Suzanne Kosmas (D-24-FL), Deborah Halvorson (D-11-IL), Leonard Boswell (D-3-IA), Brett Guthrie (R-2-KY),  Bob Filner (D-51-CA), Brad Ellsworth (D-8-IN), Dave Loebsack (D-2-IA), Bill Foster (D-14-IL), Jim Himes (D-4-CT), Robert Wittman (R-1-VA), Rodney Alexander (R-5-LA), and Bruce Braley (D-1-IA).

Three of these legislators, U.S. Reps. Guthrie, Grayson, and Snyder, went on a Turkish-sponsored congressional trip to Turkey in August.  AHI successfully discussed the 35-year illegal Turkish military occupation of 37 percent of the Republic of Cyprus, and the need for Turkey to respect the rights and freedom of religion of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.  Moreover, Rep. Snyder’s staff was apprised of these issues prior to embarking on the trip.

The congressional delegation to Turkey, which was sponsored by the Turkish Coalition of America, included senior staffers of: U.S. Reps. Christopher Carney (D-10-PA), Eliot Engel (D-17-NY), Virginia Foxx (R-5-NC), John Lewis (D-5-GA), Robert Wexler (D-19-FL), Ed Whitfield (R-1-KY), Grayson, Snyder and Guthrie.  Rep. Wexler, who chairs the House Subcommittee on Europe, and Rep. Whitfield, are the Co-Chairs of the Turkish Caucus.

AHI disseminates policy information to congressional staffers that relates to United States relations between Greece, Cyprus, and Turkey as it pertains to the best interest of the United States.

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For additional information, please contact C. Franciscos Economides at (202) 785-8430 or at [email protected]. For general information about the activities of AHI, please see our Web site at http://www.ahiworld.org.