18 May, 2007
The current period in Greek-US relations is the best in recent years, with only a few problems, US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns said Wednesday, addressing the organizers of the 23rd annual conference in Washington held by the Greek American organizations PSEKA (International Coordinating Committee Justice for Cyprus), UHAC (United Hellenic American Congress) and CEH (National Coordinated Effort of Hellenes).
Burns, a former US ambassador to Greece, was bestowed the "Livanos" award, and referred to bilateral cooperation on the Cyprus issue, Kosovo, Bosnia, the US-European relations and the Middle East, while he praised Greece and noted the close Greek-US bilateral relations and common values that tie together the United States and Greece.
Burns referred to the recent luncheon with Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis in Zagreb expressing admiration for him while stressing that on his next visit to Turkey he will raise again the issue of the Ecumenical Patriarchate as he did last January during the meetings he had in Ankara with Prime Minister Erdogan and Foreign Minister Gul. Burns stated his intention to visit Nicosia at the appropriate time for talks with the Cypriot Republic government, "the only government recognized by Washington", he stressed.
The conference dealing with Cyprus, Hellenism and Orthodoxy-related issues opened with a speech by Greek Ambassador to Washington Alexandros Mallias who outlined Greek foreign policy and Greek-US relations, while Cypriot Ambassador Andreas Kakouris referred in detail to the latest developments concerning Cyprus.
The conference is attended by roughly 100 distinguished Greek-American community representatives from a number of US states.
The importance of such meetings was underlined by Hellenic Parliament Standing Committee on Greeks Abroad vice-president Grigoris Niotis, who also conveyed to the delegates messages by main opposition PASOK party president George Papandreou and all political parties represented in the Greek Parliament.
Source: Athens News Agency