NEW YORK.- Democratic Congressman Elliot Engel speaking last week in Astoria at a fund raising event organized by the Cyprus Federation of America and PSEKA, stressed that the Greek Cypriot should not be penalized for rejecting the Annan plan in the April 24 referendum.
“It was an honest referendum. The terms of the proposed agreement weren’t fair”, he said.
Elliot Engel who have introduced the bill for the missing, passed few years ago by the US Congress, told the audience that the Greek Cypriot concerns were legitimate. He explained that there wasn’t enough time for the Greek Cypriot to clarify certain aspects for the plan and the same time, the plan could not be amended.
“It was a take it or leave it situation and thus it is not fair when someone decides to reject it to be branded a foe of peace”, Engel said.
Furthermore he said all Greeks want peace. “But they want the right kind of peace for everybody”.
Elliot Engel told Greek American that he has just signed a letter to the president asking him not to penalize the Greek Cypriots for their decision.
Being in Congress for the past 16 years, the New York Congressman has always voted for Greece and Cypriot.
“I am your best friend and I am with you in all your battles”, he reminded the audience.
International Coordinating Committee Justice for Cyprus (PSEKA) president, Philip Christopher told the participants that it is the duty of the Greek Community to help the reelection campaign of Congressman Engel, a politician that have made the Cyprus problem his personal cause.
Speaking about the recent developments, he said, the NO vote of the Greek Cypriots was not a rejection of the solution of the Cyprus problem, but the rejection of a particular plan, that was not providing to the Greek Cypriots the basic human rights we enjoy in this country.
“It is not fair for me, because I am of Greek descent, not to be able to buy property in my home town, Kerynia, while other European citizens, or Americans can”, Christopher said.
Cyprus Federation president, Peter Papanicolaou told the Congressman that the Community look in times like this at people like Congressman Engel for assistance. He said the Greek Cypriot felt that the plan presented to them was unacceptable. He also called at the US Department of State, not to do anything that could heart the process and the chances for a solution.
Cyprus Chamber of Commerce president, Andy Comodromos referring to the measures the US wants to implement for the Turkish Cypriots, he said that we don’t have any problem with assisting financially the T/C/
“This has to be done through the proper channels and not to become a venue for recognition”.
Community leaders Tasso Manessis, Nicos Mouyiaris and Savvas Tzivicos also addressed the audience.