NEW YORK – Thirty six representatives of the major Greek-American and Cypriot-American federations, institutions, and organizations participated in a special meeting convened by His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America yesterday April 3, at the headquarters of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. The purpose of the meeting was to express the support and solidarity to the people of Cyprus, in light of the recent and great difficulties they are facing.
During the meeting, the participants expressed the deep pain and consternation of the Omogeneia for the hardship imposed upon the people of Cyprus and their unwavering commitment to support them and stand by them.
While it was recognized that a certain percentage of responsibility for this recent crisis is rooted in various other factors, the representatives of the Omogeneia condemned the manner with which international economic powers have imposed unbearable measures that put in immediate danger the livelihood of hundreds of thousands of people in Cyprus. In the course of the meeting such an attitude was condemned, and the need for a struggle on many levels was emphasized in order to change or lift such measures and to address the related problems.
The Foreign Minister of Cyprus, Yiannis Kasoulidis participated via telephone for about an hour and a half in the meeting, which lasted a total of two and a half hours. Mr. Kasoulidis gave an overview of the situation in Cyprus, presented and explained a series of measures his government is taking and answered questions of the participants. The exchange made evident the need for solidarity and support in addressing, on one hand, immediate humanitarian needs (food, medicines and supplies) and on the other, purely economic support, which can include growth programs in the areas of technology, agriculture and investment. Additionally, it was stated that great vigilance is required to avoid any engagement of the pending national issue in Cyprus, under the present conditions.
It was also stated that the humanitarian support should be channeled through the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese and coordinated with the Church of Cyprus. The work of this specially convened meeting will continue with a new meeting after Pascha.
To further advance the effort for solidarity with Cyprus, today Archbishop Demetrios of America had a long telephone conversation with His Beatitude Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus, whom he briefed about the meeting. Archbishop Demetrios was informed on the developing needs in Cyprus and the work under way by the Church of Cyprus.