WASHINGTON, DC, May 5, 2023 – Next week, over 40 of the top policymakers involved in the formulation of US policy toward Cyprus, Turkey and Greece will be participating in the 38th Annual PSEKA Cyprus Conference in Washington, DC May 9-11.
“PSEKA takes great pride in the extraordinarily high-level of Congressional leaders from the Senate and House of Representatives participating in our annual Washington DC Cyprus conference. They include members of the Leadership of those institutions as well as the leaders on foreign policy issues in both branches. Such access to so many top leaders give us the invaluable opportunity to make them aware of important facts about Cyprus. We look forward to making them aware that Vladimir Putin’s brutal violations of law, humanity, and civilization that these leaders are so admirably opposing are precisely the violations Turkey is imposing on America’s ally Cyprus, and that we encourage them to give it appropriate attention,” said Philip M. Christopher, President of PSEKA, The International Coordinating Committee—Justice for Cyprus.
“We realize how difficult it is to move these leaders to focus on our Cyprus conference instead of one of the interests who together spend $4.1 billion a year to secure such Congressional participation. The extraordinarily high degree of competition for such leaders’ attention and participation is reflected in the average number of written communications they receive each week – 25,000 for Senators and 5,000 for Members of the House. And we realize that this would not be possible without the extraordinary professional work of Manatos & Manatos and their network of successful Hellenes across the country with whom they coordinate. We thank them as well for their essential role in their annual White House meeting with every president every year for over 30 years, at which Cyprus is frequently discussed,” Christopher continued.
We also express our grateful appreciation to all other organizations that are coordinating with us – AHEPA, AHI, HALC, FCAO, HANC, and Cyprus-US Chamber of Commerce – plus all those Hellenes sacrificing with us by attending fundraisers and educating Members of Congress about Cyprus, Christopher said.
Cyprus is benefited by the rare fact that the Chairmen and Ranking Minority Members of each body’s committee with foreign policy leadership will be participating in the PSEKA conference. In the Senate they include the great philhellene Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez and Ranking Minority Member Jim Risch. And in this new 118th Congress there is a new Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman and new Ranking Minority Member in the House of Representatives – Congressmen Michael McCaul and Gregory Meeks, respectively. The key members of the Leadership of the two branches of Congress focusing on Cyprus include US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, as well as Deputy Leaders, Senator Dick Durbin, and Congressman Steve Scalise.
The attendance of over 30 additional US Senators and Members, who are legislatively consequential for Cyprus, is another significant benefit for Cyprus. As well, the House of Representatives’ Hellenic heroes for Cyprus will be in attendance. They include (by seniority) Representatives Gus Bilirakis, John Sarbanes, Dina Titus, Chris Pappas, and Nicole Malliotakis. This year the meeting will also feature two former Republican Chairs of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Ed Royce and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who will participate in a panel discussion about Cyprus.
Christopher concluded by saying, “Although we are frustrated and disappointed with the lack of progress on Cyprus, we remain strong and united to the struggle of the Cypriot people for freedom and justice.”