New York.- By Apostolos Zoupaniotis
In statement entitled “Joe Biden’s vision for Greek Americans and U.S.-Greece Relations”, the Campaign of the Democratic presidential candidate reveals hios positions on U.S. –Greece relations, Cyprus and the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
The position paper begins with a quote from Vice President Biden’s remarks during a Greek Independence Day celebration at the White House, on Marc 25, 2009, where he said “Greece and America share common values, common goals, a common philosophical tradition going back to the great scholars of ancient Greece.”
The statement points out that “Throughout his many years in public life, Joe Biden has a long record of engagement on issues important to Greek-Americans and a record of support for strengthening the U.S.-Greece relationship. He has worked personally with Greek leaders over many decades to strengthen the alliance. As President, Joe Biden will be committed to a strong dialogue with both Greek-American leaders and the leadership of Greece to sustain the bond between our countries”, Biden’s campaign position paper on the Greek issues says.
Describing what Joe Biden has done on the issues dear to Greek Americans, throughout his political life, he mentions:
● As Vice President, Joe Biden took the lead in urging that the U.S. government support Greece during its financial crisis, working closely with European leaders and the International Monetary Fund to ensure that Greece got a fair deal.
● Joe has long opposed the Turkish occupation of northern Cyprus and supported a comprehensive settlement to reunify the island as a bizonal, bicommunal federation with political equality. In 2014, he visited the island, the first sitting Vice President to do so in more than 50 years, and led White House diplomatic engagement on the Cyprus question.
● Joe recently called on the Trump Administration to press Turkey to refrain from further provocative actions in the region against Greece, including threats of force.
● Joe has long been a strong supporter of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and given
unwavering support for the ability of the Patriarchate to function in its role as the center of the Greek Orthodox Church. He treasures his visit in 2011 to the Patriarchate and each of his meetings with His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. He has called on Turkey to permit the reopening of the Halki Seminary and criticized the recent decision of the Turkish government to convert the Hagia Sophia into a mosque.
● Joe Biden has always been a friend of the Greek-American community, in Delaware and around the country. He is grateful for the longstanding support of the community.
● Biden was humbled to receive the Oxi Day Foundation’s highest honor in 2016, and the Athenagoras Human Rights Award in 2015.
In regards what Biden will do as President of the United States, the campaign position paper says:
● Joe Biden will work with our close ally Greece to advance stability in the eastern
● Unlike President Trump, Joe will call out Turkish behavior that is in violation of
international law or that contravenes its commitments as a NATO ally, such as Turkish violations of Greek airspace .
● Joe will work diplomatically to bring a resolution to the Cyprus question.
● Joe will continue to be a strong voice for religious freedom globally, including the rights of the Greek Orthodox Church