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AHI Confirms Status Of New U.S. Embassy Office As "Change Of Address" In Occupied Northern Cyprus
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: CHRYSOULA ECONOMOPOULOS
February 5 , 2002 No. 4/02 (202) 785-8430

AHI Confirms Status Of New U.S. Embassy Office As "Change Of Address" In Occupied Northern Cyprus

On January 31, 2001, the American Hellenic Institute's (AHI) Executive Director Nick Larigakis sent a letter to Jim Seevers, Cyprus Desk Officer at the U.S. Department of State to reconfirm the status of a new U.S. Embassy liaison office opened in the occupied zone of Cyprus. Mr. Larigakis had spoken with Mr. Seevers earlier that week and received his assurances that the new office did not signify any change in policy or upgrade in status towards the occupied zone.

According to Mr. Larigakis' letter:

As you stated, this [letter] is to reconfirm that there has been no shift in U.S. policy regarding the occupied area of Cyprus, and that this new office does not reflect any elevation or upgrade of status towards this entity, but is simply a "change of address" of the office.

You also indicated that this "liaison office" has existed since the mid 1960s and that the officer responsible for Turkish Cypriot Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Nicosia will not be relocating to this new facility.

Recent reports in the Cypriot press noted that the U.S. Embassy in Cyprus held an inaugural reception of new premises in the northern occupied territory on Wednesday, January 23, 2002. The reception was attended by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash and members of the Turkish military's top brass and Turkish Cypriot "ministers".

While the U.S. Embassy issued a statement late on Wednesday, saying there should be no controversy over the reception, Cyprus' Government Spokesperson Michalis Papapetrou countered that the statement did "not satisfy the government."

AHI does not believe it was helpful to U.S. interests to host such a reception.

For additional information please contact Chrysoula Economopoulos at (202) 785-8430 or at info@ahiworld.org. For general information on AHI, see our Web site athttp://www.ahiworld.org .