NEW YORK. –
Greek Americans welcomed April 16, the day the Republic of Cyprus signed the Accession Treaty with the European Union. Various leaders of the Greek American Community made statements expressing their satisfaction.
Archbishop Demetrios of America chose that day for a sworn in ceremony of the newly elected board of the Cyprus Federation of America. Consul General of Cyprus Martha Mavrommatis was also present. Archbishop said, that was “an historic day for Cyprus”.
“We celebrate today the history-making rise of the wall of impenetrable European Union (EU) security around all the people of the Republic of Cyprus, as Cyprus signs the Accession Treaty with the European Union” said the leaders of the National Coordinated Effort of Hellenes (CEH) Andrew A. Athens, Andrew E. Manatos and Philip Christopher.
“We should call America’s 1994 adoption of this goal of EU accession for Cyprus the `Holbrooke Policy,’ named after its creator, then-Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs. Holbrooke began this effort 9 years ago next month with a visit to Greece, where he met with now-Greek Ambassador to the U.S. George Savvaides and a few others, and to Cyprus. Without the focused interest of then-President Bill Clinton, and his best friend David Leopoulos, such aggressive action might not have been likely.
Coordinated effort leaders paid tribute to Undersecretary of State Marc Grossman, Secretary of State Colin Powell and President George W. Bush, as well as other Stae Department Officials.
“Special Cyprus Coordinators Tom Miller (now U.S. Ambassador to Greece) and Tom Weston brought unique understanding to our government’s constructive handling of this issue”.
Finally they said that “Led since 1974 by Senator Paul Sarbanes and our successive Archbishops of America, Hellenes across the country and Hellenes and Phil Hellenes in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives refused to allow repeated efforts to take Cyprus off the national agenda”.
Cyprus Federation of America president, Peter Papanicolaou, said to Greek News, that April 16 was a victory for Cyprus and for all Hellenes around the globe.
“I believe our community in the United States should realize that US policy to favor the Cyprus accession to the EU was not only related to Cyprus. It was within the Holbrooke policy of having a “win-win” situation, with Cyprus entering the EU, solving the Cyprus problem and at the same time giving Turkey a definite date for starting its accession negotiations. This plan was in effect for the last at least five years. It came very close to success in the Summit of Copenhagen but at the last minute, the EU- for its own reasons – did not want to give Turkey a date to start the accession negotiations. This made Turkey more unwilling to take the necessary political decision and solve the Cyprus problem”.