The Cyprus problem, energy issues and the relations of Cyprus with countries where there are parliamentarians of Greek descent were discussed during a meeting Cyprus President, Nikos Christodoulides, had on Friday with the World Hellenic Inter-Parliamentary Association (WHIA) Board, in which parliamentarians in the US, Canada, Australia, Jordan and Kenya of Greek and Cypriot origin participate.

In statements after the meeting, members of the delegation expressed their readiness to help Cyprus in issues that concern the country by promoting them to the countries where they have been elected.

WHIA Board President, Rhode Island State Senator, Leonidas Raptakis, said that it was very important for them to get to know the President. “We spoke about all issues. About Energy, issues related to Cyprus, the US, Greece, Australia, Canada, Jordan. It was a very important discussion,” he added.

He stressed that they need to be in frequent contact, once a week or once a month, noting that it is very important for the parliamentarians abroad who are of Greek origin to be able to help the people of Cyprus, solve problems in the Eastern Mediterranean in cooperation with the countries in which they are elected and with their colleagues who are not Greeks.

New York State Representative of Cypriot descent, Michael Tannousis, said he was very proud and happy to be here with the delegation. “We had a very productive meeting yesterday with the US Ambassador to Cyprus. When we go back to the US, we are going to work hard to help in the visa waiver program so Cypriots are able to come to the US without having to wait a year for the visa program,” he noted.

Moreover he said that “we look forward to working together with the Cyprus government to ensure a better standard of living for all Cypriot citizens and do everything we can to help in the Cyprus problem.”

MP for Enfield (South Australia) and Minister for Small and Family Business, Minister for Consumer and Business Affairs and Minister for Arts, Andrea Michaels, also of Cypriot descent, said she was very proud to meet the President of Cyprus and that it is very important for them to have this relationship with Cypriots and the Cypriot government. “We want to know what we can do to help Cyprus from overseas and we want to have those communications open and that is what we are hoping to achieve after this meeting,” she added.

Member of the Senate of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Audeh Quawas, said that they had a very good meeting with the President. “We’ve said that this must continue and that there needs to be a mechanism for helping the people of Cyprus,” he added.

Member of the Parliament of Kenya, Esther Passaris, said that “we congratulate Cyprus on the election of a very humble and visionary President. We look forward to growing our organisation and to serving the interest of the Hellenic people.”

Member of the Parliament of Canada Emmanuella Lambropoulos said that they had a very good meeting with the President. “He has some very good ideas about the state and he wants to utilize overseas Greeks and Cypriots in order to able to help Cyprus and Greece,” she added. Lambropoulos also expressed the belief that they will be able to have better relations and communication with the MPs here, to work together on issues which are important for both sides.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The latest round of negotiations, in July 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively.

Leave a Reply