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AHI Celebrates Greek Independence Day at the White House; AHI President Attends Administration Briefing
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Demetra Atsaloglou
March 26, 2012—No. 17 (202) 785-8430

AHI Celebrates Greek Independence Day at the White House; AHI President Attends Administration Briefing

WASHINGTON, DC — The American Hellenic Institute (AHI) celebrated Greek Independence Day at the White House on March 22, 2012. AHI President Nick Larigakis attended the ceremony officiated by President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios.

“We thank President Obama for demonstrating ‘philotimo’ toward the Greek American community by hosting this event to honor Greek Independence,” Larigakis said. “The event served to reaffirm the strong bonds of friendship between Greece and the United States and to bring attention to the fact that this relationship is etched intrinsically by virtue of the noble democratic ideals and principles that guided our Founding Fathers in establishing our own country.”

A video of the White House celebration is available for view (courtesy of Greek News Online) and to view the White House Proclamation, please click here.

AHI President Attends White House Briefing, Presents Views

AHI President Nick Larigakis attended a pre-reception White House briefing on U.S.-Greece relations with Administration officials to discuss important topics of concern including: an economic update, Greek-American community engagement efforts, and the White House Business Council. President Larigakis shared his views on how U.S.-Greece relations can be strengthened, including ways to assist with Greece’s economic crisis. For example, President Larigakis suggested the United States can send a positive message by having the U.S. commerce secretary lead a delegation of American business leaders to Greece. He noted that there has not been any significant American investment in Greece for more than thirty years. President Larigakis also commented on the foreign policy challenges impacting Greece and the eastern Mediterranean region, which are core policy issues for the Greek American community that require proper resolutions. He cited NATO ally Turkey’s continued occupation of the Republic of Cyprus, which is an EU nation; and the importance of securing religious freedom for the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

“The Greek American community would like see the Administration, in fact all Administrations, be properly engaged with it on foreign policy discussions as they pertain to U.S.-Greece and U.S.-Cyprus relations,” Larigakis told the administration officials. He cited the example of the Bush Adminstration’s November 2004 policy decision to recognize FYROM as the “Republic of Macedonia” without any consideration of the position or sentiment of the Greek American community. “What we promote with our policy positions is always in best interest of United States in the effort to advance stability in a geographically important, yet delicate area of the world, in the eastern Mediterranean and Balkans.”

The American Hellenic Institute is a non-profit 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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For additional information, please contact Demetra Atsaloglou 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.