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American Hellenic Institute Releases Year 2001 Greek American Policy Statements
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: NICK LARIGAKIS
February 9, 2001 No. 8/01 (202) 785-8430

American Hellenic Institute Releases Year 2001 Greek American Policy Statements

On February 9, 2001 the American Hellenic Institute (AHI) released the year 2001 Greek American Policy Statements (copy attached). This year's statements were prepared by AHI and reviewed and endorsed by the key Greek American membership organizations, including AHI:

  • Order of AHEPA;
  • Hellenic American National Council (HANC);
  • Hellenic American Women's Council (HAWC);
  • Cyprus Federation of America;
  • Panepirotic Federation of America;
  • Pan-Macedonian Association; and
  • Pan-Cretan Association of America.

In each case the policies set forth are based on the question of what is in the best interests of the United States.

These Policy Statements were transmitted to President George W. Bush by the attached covering letter.

"AHEPA applauds the American Hellenic Institute for preparing, in great detail, the 2001 Greek American Policy Statements and AHEPA was pleased to be able to contribute to the draft revision process," said Supreme President Johnny Economy. "AHEPA supports the policy statements because they are based on the rule of law and American values."

"These Policy Statements set out a legislative agenda for the 107th Congress," said AHI Founder Eugene T. Rossides. "Our Executive Director, Nick Larigakis will be working with the major Greek American membership organizations to coordinate our legislative efforts this year."

The Policy Statements highlight the significant changes taking place in the political, security and economic landscape in Southeast Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean region. They stress the strategic importance of Greece and Cyprus as regional partners of the United States. As vigorous, prosperous and stable democracies, they are a source of regional political and economic leadership that offers the opportunity to make a decisive advance for U.S. national interests in the region.

The Policy Statements contrast the negative role played by Turkey, which continues to be the prime cause of many of the region's problems. This is in large part because of the anti-democratic influence of the Turkish military, which controls foerign affairs and national security policy, and dominates domestic policy as set forth in the Turkish constitution. Turkey has continued its illegal territorial claims against sovereign Greek territory in the Aegean, introduced new and unacceptable conditions for negotiations about Cyprus, continued its harassment of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, refused to reopen Halki Theological School, and, as detailed in the State Department's annual country human rights report, further stained its already notorious human rights record against pro-democratic forces and ethnic and religious minorities inside Turkey.