AHI President Nick Larigakis moderated the briefing along with AHI Legal Counsel Nick Karambelas. Larigakis thanked the speakers for their continued support of reunification efforts and their advocacy for Cyprus in legislation. He also took a moment to reflect on the tragic events of 1974 and the ongoing occupation that has plagued the island. Larigakis recalled how the invasion spurred to action the late Gene Rossides to establish the American Hellenic Institute. He also vowed to continue fighting for a just solution for Cyprus in Rossides’s memory, saying, “…And within the context of his memory that this organization will continue to advocate and to fight for the rule of law, and for a Cyprus that will ultimately be whole, free, and at peace as we all want to see.”
Featured speakers of the event included: Ambassador of Greece to the U.S. Alexandra Papadopoulou; Ambassador of the Republic of Cyprus to the U.S. Marios Lyssiotis; Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ), member, House Committee on Foreign Affairs; Congressman Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), co-chair, Congressional Caucus on Hellenic Issues and Hellenic-Israel Alliance; Congresswoman Grace Meng (D-NY), member, House Committee on Appropriations; Congresswoman Dina Titus (D-NV), member, House Committee on Foreign Affairs; Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), co-chair, Congressional Caucus on Hellenic Issues; Senator Chris Van Hollen, (D-MD), member, Senate Committee on Appropriations; Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA), member, House Committee on Foreign Affairs; Congressman John Sarbanes (D-MD); and Congressman Charlie Crist (D-FL), member, House Committee on Appropriations. In addition, Congresswoman Judy Chu (D-CA) and Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. (D-NJ) provided prerecorded video remarks, and Congressman John Rutherford (R-FL) and Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), ranking member, Senate Foreign Relations Committee, offered written statements.