29th Annual Cyprus Conference

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                                                                                                                   29th Annual Cyprus Conference

June 12, 2013, WASHINGTON, DC — A “Who’s Who” of America’s foreign policy leadership in the US Congress, and other well-known American and Greek-American leaders, attended the banquet of the 29th Annual Cyprus and Hellenic Leaders Conference in Washington, DC. Some of the Washington dignitaries that attended this highlight of the June 4-6 PSEKA/CEH meetings with key US policymakers, included:

The Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ)

The current and immediate past Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Congressman Ed Royce (R-CA) and Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL);

The Ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and author of the Missing in Cyprus legislation, Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY) – who was honored with the Frizis Award;

The former Speaker of the House and current House Democratic Leader, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (D-CA);

The Chairman of the Senate Immigration Subcommittee and author of the Hellenic amendment to the Immigration Reform bill, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) – who was honored for his efforts;

Greek American members of the House Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) and John Sarbanes (D-MD) and Former US Senator Paul Sarbanes

Also honored that evening were Greek Orthodox Archbishop of America, His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios (with the Paraskevaides Award) and Greek-American businessman Dennis Mehiel (with the Athens/Livanos Award).

Earlier that day, conference participants met on Capitol Hill with dozens of Members of Congress with jurisdiction over the formulation of policy toward Cyprus, Turkey and Greece, such as:

The current and immediate past Chairmen of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Congressman Royce (R-CA) – who was honored – and Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), respectively;

The Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Europe Subcommittee, Congressmen Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) and William Keating (D-MA), respectively;

The Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Middle East Subcommittee, Congressman Ted Deutch (D-FL) – who was honored – and Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL);

The Co-Founders of the Congressional Hellenic Israeli Alliance, Congressmen Deutch (D-FL) and Bilirakis (R-FL);

14 members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, including 6 Subcommittee Chairmen or Ranking Members

The funeral of Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) resulted in 7 US Senators confirmed to speak at the conference that morning, having to attend Senator Lautenberg’s funeral instead.

The following morning conference participants met at the White House complex with key Administration officials, including Vice President Joe Biden’s National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan.

Greek and Cyprus Government Officials:

Greek and Cypriot government officials who participated in this conference included:

Cyprus Government Spokesperson, Christos Stylianides – who was honored
Ambassador of Greece to the United States, Christos Panagopoulos
Ambassador of Cyprus to the United States, George Chacalli
Permanent Representative of Cyprus to the United Nations, Ambassador Nicholas Emiliou
Mayor of Famagusta, Cyprus /Pres. of refugee municipalities / Former Cyprus Parliament Pres. Alexis Galanos
Mayor of Kythrea, Cyprus, Petros Kareklas 

Also participating were Member of the European Parliament from Germany, Reimer Boge – who was honored – and Greek Member of Parliament Erini Dourou.

Community Organization Heads

Heads of Greek-American community organizations who participated in this 3 day conference included:

President, International Coordinating Committee — Justice for Cyprus (PSEKA), Philip Christopher
President, National Coordinated Effort of Hellenes (CEH), Andrew E. Manatos
Supreme President, Cyprus Federation of America, Costas Tsentas
Immediate Past Supreme President, Cyprus Federation of America, Peter Papanicolaou
Executive Vice President, Pancyprian Association of America, Nikos Mouyiaris
Executive Director, AHEPA, Basil Mossaides
President, American Hellenic Institute (AHI), Nick Larigakis
Vice President of Public Relations, American Hellenic Council of California, Kathy Tavoularis
National Chairman, United Hellenic American Congress (UHAC), George Dovellos
Executive Director, Hellenic American Leadership Council, Endy Zemenides
Alternate President, PSEKA; Cyprus Federation of America, Tasos Zambas
Chairman, Michigan Democratic Party Greek Caucus, Basil Simon
Founding Chair, New Jersey Hellenic American Heritage Commission, Zenon Christodoulou
USA Region Coordinator, World Council of Hellenes (SAE), Ted Spyropoulos
President, Pan-Macedonian Association of America, Kosta Hatzistefanidis
President, Cyprus-US Chamber of Commerce, Vassos Vassiliou
Chairman, Cyprus Children’s Fund, Savas Tsivicos
President, Federation of Hellenic Societies, Elias Tsekerides
President, PSEKA Canada, Dinos Sophocleous
Lobby for Cyprus, Great Britain, Theodora Christou
Great Britain Federation, Maria Kokkinou
Morphou Association, UK, Nicolas Kotziamanis 

A Big Loss For The Annual Conference

It was the first Washington conference without the dean of the Greek-American Community, Andrew A. Athens. In addition to several moments of silence and tributes by numerous US policymakers and Greek-American leaders, in his honor one of the most prestigious conference awards, The Livanos Award, was re-named The Athens/Livanos Award so that his memory and all of his good work for our issues will be everlasting.