The President of the Republic of Cyprus, Nikos Christodoulides, in a speech during a testimonial dinner, organised by the Federation of American Cypriot Organizations to honour former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo with the “Freedom Award” commended the significance of the diaspora in promoting the national issues and Pompeo’s role in lifting of the US arms embargo for Cyprus.
The event attended, inter alia, the Archbishop of America Elpidophoros, president of PSEKA Philip Christopher, the president of the Cypriot Organizations of America Kyriacos Papastylianou, the consuls of Cyprus and Greece, the Permanent Representative of Cyprus to the UN, Ambassador Andreas Hadjichrysanthou.
The President of the Republic of Cyprus in his speech said that he is excited to be in New York, this time as President of the Republic of Cyprus.
“I wish to express to you both my personal thanks and the deepest appreciation and gratitude of the Government and the Cypriot people for the strong and uninterrupted support of the Federation of Cypriot Organizations of America and the entire community to Cyprus,” he said.
Referring to the federation of Cypriot organizations, the President said that it plays an important role in the communities of the diaspora, promoting ties with the homeland and helping to enlighten the American political leadership and public opinion about the struggle of the Cypriot people for justice and freedom.
“On behalf of Cyprus, on behalf of all the previous presidents, on behalf of the entire Cypriot people, I would like to thank you warmly for the long-term support you provide to all Cypriot governments without exception,” he noted.
“Your commitment to the need to resolve the Cyprus issue and your sincere concern for our country, fill us with strength but also feelings of heavy responsibility to continue our efforts for liberation, for ending the occupation and reunification of our homeland”, Christodoulides further said.
He made special reference to the role of the organisations in the development and deepening of bilateral relations between Cyprus and the USA, relations which have strengthened significantly in recent years.
“The fact that the Republic of Cyprus is now considered a reliable partner and a pillar of security and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean and the wider Middle East is also due to your own long-term efforts,” he said.
Furthermore, he referred to the role and contribution of the youth in achieving the objectives of the federation.
“NEPOMAK of America, with its own activities, with its actions, bridges the generations and contributes decisively to the achievement of the goals set,” he said.
Referring to the award of the “Freedom Award” to Mike Pompeo President Christodoulides said: “Today we are honoring a close friend of Cyprus and Greece, Mike Pompeo, with the Freedom Award, who has been a staunch supporter of building closer ties between Cyprus, Greece, Israel and the United States in order to safeguard stability and security in the Eastern Mediterranean”.
He also praised Pompeo’s important role in the issue of lifting the US arms embargo for Cyprus, imposed in 1987, which links the former Secretary of State’s name to a historic development in bilateral relations.
He added that by further enriching this important relationship, which both Nicosia and Washington consider to be of strategic importance, “we will continue to rely on the very important role of our diaspora in the US which proves every day that its tireless efforts and commitment are yielding tangible results”.
Addressing the event, the President of the Federation of American Cypriot Organizations Kyriakos Papastylianou, the President of PSEKA Philip Christopher and the Archbishop of America praised the efforts made by the President of the Republic to achieve the justification of the struggle of the Cypriot people for a Cyprus solution.
The Freedom Award was then presented to Pompeo, who was unable to attend the event but spoke via video conference.
In his greeting, Pompeo, addressing the President of the Republic, said that “you are an excellent friend, but also a great leader for the people of Cyprus. Congratulations on your well-deserved election and I know you will do great things for the people of your country.”
He also referred, inter alia, to the strong cooperation with Greece, Cyprus and Israel in the Mediterranean region and noted that this cooperation will continue.