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AHI Forum Observes 36th Anniversary of Turkish Invasion of Cyprus

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: C. Franciscos Economides
July 19, 2010—No. 48 (202) 785-8430

AHI Forum Observes 36th Anniversary of Turkish Invasion of Cyprus

Debuts AHIF-sponsored Cyprus Documentary to Capitol Hill Audience

WASHINGTON, DC — On July 21, 2010, the American Hellenic Institute (AHI) observed the 36th anniversary of Turkey’s illegal invasion of the Republic of Cyprus (July 20, 1974) by debuting a documentary sponsored by the AHI Foundation titled “Cyprus Still Divided: A U.S. Foreign Policy Failure” to a Capitol Hill audience. The documentary will premiere on Detroit’s PBS affiliate on Monday, September 13, 2010 and air nationally on PBS affiliates throughout the fall.

“Many observers believe the United States had the knowledge and power to prevent the Turkish invasion and later to compel Turkey to withdraw it troops, but Washington did neither of those things,” said AHI Executive Director Nick Larigakis. “The documentary provides excellent insight and analysis into this notion that includes interviews with policymakers, lawmakers, and experts on Cyprus. It also includes recently declassified State Department memos that reveal the true position of Secretary Kissinger.”

According to one declassified memo, Secretary Kissinger wrote, “There is no American reason why the Turks should not have one-third of Cyprus.”

Four members of Congress were in attendance to view the documentary, two of which are members of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. They were: U.S. Reps. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) and Albio Sires (D-NJ). The other two were U.S. Reps. Zack Space (D-OH) and Frank Pallone (D-NJ).

The Members expressed their confidence that the documentary would serve as an important means to educate policy makers and the public about the Cyprus issue.

Also in attendance were Andreas Kakouris, ambassador of the Republic of Cyprus to the U.S., who addressed the audience; Vassilis Kaskarelis, ambassador of Greece to the U.S.; and many congressional aides. A forum followed the documentary presentation at which many of these dignitaries addressed the Cyprus issue.

Veras Communications, Inc., headed by Emmy Award winning documentary producer, George Veras, produced the one-hour documentary. Larigakis thanked Veras Communications and AHIF Board Member Nick Karambelas for their critical roles in producing the documentary.

Help Secure Documentary’s Airing Throughout Nation

“Although the documentary will air in Detroit, we need the community’s help to secure its airing on other PBS affiliates throughout the country,” said Larigakis.  “We will be notifying our community at the appropriate time requesting them to contact their local PBS affiliate and ask them to air this important documentary about Cyprus.”

The American Hellenic Institute is a non-profit independent Greek American public policy center that works to strengthen relations between the United States and Greece and Cyprus, and within the Greek American community.

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AHIF Board Member Nick Karambelas and AHI Executive Director Nick Larigakis answer questions from the audience.

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AHIF Board Member Nick Karambelas, AHI Executive Director Nick Larigakis and Ambassador Andreas Kakouris, Ambassador of Cyprus to the US, answer questions from the audience, Congressman Frank Pallone Jr. (D-NJ) looks on.

 

 

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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 website at http://www.ahiworld.org.