Holds Private Gathering with Greek-Cypriot Americans to Express Solidarity, Compassion
Governor George E. Pataki announced that he will hold an intimate gathering of top-level Hellenic community leaders as a gesture of his support for a peaceful solution to the 29-year- illegal occupation that resulted from the invasion of Cyprus by Turkish military forces. During this event, the governor will proclaim July 20, 2003 “Justice for Cyprus Day” in the Empire State and will invite a group of those dignitaries to comment on the invasion of the Republic of Cyprus that took place on July 20, 1974 and the ensuing occupation by Turkish forces.
The private meeting will occur in Governor Pataki’ s New York City Office on Monday, July 21, at 2:30 p.m. It will assemble a group of community leaders whose outspokenness on the issue educates both Hellenes and philhellenes, and whose commitment inspires the at-large community to support and pray for an answer to the situation in Cyprus. Thus, the meeting will enable the governor to thank his guests for their hard work while reciprocating in a manner befitting the state’s highest office.
In announcing the private meeting, Governor Pataki said: “Proponents of a free, demilitarized Republic of Cyprus are true friends of liberty, a cherished value first espoused by the ancient Greek intelligentsia. The freedom to live peacefully in an open and democratic society has spread from the Mediterranean shores, to places around the world and to America. For many Greek-Cypriots and many exiles, however, that freedom was abruptly taken from them during a time of great strife.
“Hearing of that hardship and its continued injustices, I am motivated to express my and the state’s principled support for a peaceful end to this sad situation.”
Among the community leaders who will be present at the governor’s gathering will be His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America. The archbishop will be paramount among the handful of guests to briefly engage Governor Pataki on the Cyprus matter. Other guests expected to offer brief remarks include the Hon. Martha Mavrommatis, consul-general of the Republic of Cyprus in New York; Peter Papanicolaou, president of the Cyprus Federation of America; and Philip Christopher, president of the International Coordinating Committee “Justice for Cyprus” (PSEKA).
Governor Pataki, for his part, will serve as host and moderator. He will open the program by welcoming his guests and close it by presenting framed proclamations to Archbishop Demetrios, Cyprus Consul-General Mavrommatis and Cyprus Federation President Peter Papanicolaou.