WASHINGTON D.C. – An AHEPA high level delegation made of Supreme President Jack Georgalas, Executive Director Basil Mossaidis, AHEPA Canadian President Lazarus Kalipolides and AHEPA Cyprus Hellenic Affairs Committee Member Dr. Takey Crist, visited Greece and Cyprus, where they held high level meetings.
While in Cyprus, the delegation met with Cypriot Foreign Minister George Iacovou and American Ambassador to the Republic of Cyprus Michael Klosson. Georgalas and Executive Director Basil Mossaidis described meetings as “fruitful and productive,” adding that AHEPA offered its resources to address new challenges and to explore any new direction that may need to be taken to achieve a just, viable and functional solution to the division of Cyprus.
“We advised both officials of our continued unwavering support for the people of Cyprus,” said Georgalas, who is in Cyprus to share in the historic occasion of its accession into the European Union. President Georgalas added that he understands it is a bittersweet moment for the Cypriot people who aspired to obtain the goal of EU accession in conjunction with a solution.
“I commend this government, previous administrations, and the Cypriot people for their diligence and hard work toward achieving this momentous goal,” said Georgalas. “Furthermore, I applaud President Papadopoulos’ expressed desire to share the benefits of EU accession ‘hand in hand,’ as he described it, with his Turkish Cypriot compatriots.”
The delegation was also received by Bishop of Kykkos Nikiforos, and the Mayor of Nicosia, Mr. Michael Zampelas.
On May 3rd the delegation visited Athens, where its members had meetings with government and administrative officials that aimed to maintain ties between AHEPA. The supreme president took advantage of a brief stopover in Athens to meet with: Deputy Chief of Mission Jake Walles, American Embassy in Athens; Deputy Foreign Minister of the Hellenic Republic Panayiotis Skandalakis, Ambassador Alexandros Sandis, director, Diplomatic Office of the Prime Minister; and Ms. Demetra Egan, manager, Greeks Abroad, Athens Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games (ATHOC).
According to Georgalas, he received an update on Olympic preparations at all of his meetings. The need to develop a systematic approach to projecting programs that create awareness of Hellenic ideals in North America and that benefit relations between the U.S. and Greece was also discussed.
“We’re strongly encouraged,” he said about Olympic preparations. “The people of Greece are working diligently, and they are also acting in cooperation with a lot of countries, to ensure the Games are unique, as safe as can be, and a success in the finest sense of Olympic tradition.”
In addition, Georgalas met with 40 members from AHEPA’s three local chapters in Athens to receive a report on their programs.
“They are an enthusiastic group and we are appreciative of their activities
that project the mission of AHEPA in Greece,” he said.