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Ambassador Thomas Miller Applauds Greece as a World Player at AHI Forum
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: CHRYSOULA ECONOMOPOULOS
January 15, 2003 No. 2 (202) 785-8430

Ambassador Thomas Miller Applauds Greece as a World Player at AHI Forum

WASHINGTON, DC—On January 9, 2003, the American Hellenic Institute (AHI) hosted U.S. Ambassador to Greece Thomas J. Miller for a forum discussion where he updated the audience on current developments in Greece and on the status of U.S.-Greece relations. The ambassador highlighted progress in the November 17 case, Greek cooperation in the war on terrorism, headway made on a Cyprus settlement, and the 2004 Olympics.

Regarding U.S.-Greece relations, Ambassador Miller said, "The relationship overall is as sound and as healthy as I've ever seen it," pointing out the strong degree of convergence between the two countries on many objectives, including Greek support in the war on terrorism since September 11. He applauded Greece's emerging role as a world player, as demonstrated especially by the country's recent assumption of the European Union (EU) presidency and in its visionary approach to relations with neighboring Turkey.

The court trials agains the Greek domestic terrorist group November 17 are currently under way. Ambassador Miller stated that the breakup of the group is "a very big development, not only in terms of domestic terrorism, but psychologically…. People are feeling proud that they finally have wrapped up this group." Ambassador Miller praised the Greek authorities for their work in achieving these results.

With Cyprus a prominent issue on the U.S. agenda, Ambassador Miller pointed out to the audience that, "We're on the cusp of some really, really interesting but by no means guaranteed possibilities." Alluding to the combination of a new leadership in Turkey along with Greece's actions to improve relations with Turkey, these elements might create the appropriate conditions for resolution of the 29-year impasse.

Accordingly, Ambassador Miller affirmed that, "It's definitely in the U.S.'s interest to see a resolution of the Cyprus problem. It is definitely in the U.S.'s interest for Greece and Turkey to have a more harmonious relationship… My hats off to Greece on this one because what they did, what they've been doing for the last couple of years, what they did in Copenhagen [to promote Turkey's EU candidacy], that's the headline."

Referring to the Athens 2004 Olympics as a springboard for the future, Ambassador Miller stated that, "The Olympics are not seen by the Greek leadership or by us as an end in itself. It's a means to something bigger. And that something bigger is using the Olympics as a vehicle to take projects that might have taken 15 years -- be it public works or be it upgrading security -- and crunch it into a three year period. And that's to close the gap not only economically but in many other ways between Greece and some of its EU partners."

For additional information or a digital photo from the AHI's Forum featuring U.S. Ambassador to Greece Thomas J. Miller, please contact Chrysoula Economopoulos at (202) 785-8430 or [email protected] For general information regarding the activities of AHI, please view our website at http://www.ahiworld.org.

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CAPTION: Ambassador Thomas J. Miller (at podium) discusses current status of U.S.-Greece relations at AHI Forum. AHI Chairman James Marketos also pictured.