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Senator Tim Johnson Featured at AHI “Meet and Greet”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: GEORGIA ECONOMOU
February 3, 2006—No. 4 (202) 785-8430

Senator Tim Johnson Featured at AHI “Meet and Greet”

WASHINGTON, DC—Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD) was the American Hellenic Institute’s (AHI) featured speaker during a Meet and Greet Noon Forum on January 23, 2006 at Hellenic House. The event provided attendees the opportunity to hear the senator’s views on a range of foreign and domestic issues, to ask questions, and to interact with the senator and members of his staff.

Senator Johnson reiterated his support of issues important to the Greek American community, including resolution of the Cyprus issue, and the importance of a multilateral approach in U.S. foreign policy. He also advocated for stronger efforts towards real democratic reform and protection of civil liberties in Turkey as absolute prerequisites to European Union (EU) accession, and briefly touched on important domestic topics.

Regarding Cyprus, Senator Johnson stated that “the EU accession of Cyprus, I think, is one of the truly positive things that have occurred in recent years.” In subsequent discussion, he affirmed that “The U.S. should stand ready to be supportive of efforts towards closure of the conflicts on Cyprus, but we also need to have the humility to understand that the final resolutions are up to the people, are up to the Cypriots themselves.”

Intricately entwined with resolution of the Cyprus issue is Turkey’s pending EU accession. The Senator applauded Greece’s strong support of the country’s accession, as well as a more democratic Turkey. “It is important that we develop at least some successful Islamic economy and democracy,” pointed out Senator Johnson. He added, “It can’t be all carrot….Turkey has to step up to the plate as well relative to civil liberties, in terms of perfecting its democracy.”

More broadly, Senator Johnson emphasized the importance of a multilateral approach and continued U.S. engagement in international affairs.

“America’s involvement in the world is not just a good thing to do, but it’s a necessary thing to do,” he pointed out. “The quality of all of our lives and the security of not only the world, but of the United States requires the United States to work in a multilateral fashion.”

Introducing the Senator prior to his remarks was AHI member Emanuel “Manny” Rouvelas, chairman of Preston Gates Ellis & Rouvelas Meeds, LLP. He quoted Senator Paul Sarbanes (D-MD) on Senator Johnson’s outstanding record. Specifically mentioned was Senator Johnson’s co-sponsorship of Greek Independence Day resolutions each year, his congratulating Greece on the Olympics, his urging the Bush Administration to reconsider its position on FYROM, and his leading enactment of critical appropriations legislation for Cyprus and for basic healthcare for ethnic Hellenic communities in the former Soviet Union. Senator Sarbanes said, “Senator Johnson’s extraordinary record on issues of importance to the Greek-American community obviously comes from the heart.”

Attached please view photos.

Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD).


Nick Larigakis and Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD).

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For additional information, please contact Georgia Economou at (202) 785-8430 or [email protected]. For general information regarding the activities of AHI, please view our Web site at http://www.ahiworld.org.