Third International Leadership Mission of Greek and Jewish American Organizations concluded

Third International Leadership Mission of Greek and Jewish American Organizations concluded


An 18-member delegation of leaders of the American Hellenic and American Jewish organizations completed a third, three-country Leadership Mission to Greece, Cyprus and Israel, to explore the major political, economic and security developments underway in the eastern Mediterranean and to advance the interests of the United States in the region. Meetings were held with more than 20 high-ranking government and military officials—in addition to policy analysts and community leaders—from the three countries and the United States. The participating organizations included: the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (Order of AHEPA), the American Hellenic Institute (AHI)B’nai B’rith International, and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

In a post-mission statement, the groups noted: “Our meetings clearly revealed that the trilateral relationship between Israel, Cyprus and Greece is on a sustained course and is expanding on all levels. We believe the relationship has developed into a partnership, helping to foster peace and stability in the eastern Mediterranean and the broader region where instability exists. Further, the partnership possesses the potential to allow the eastern Mediterranean to become a community of nations based on shared common values and aspirations. To this end, we hope the trilateral partnership blossoms into a multilateral one. We applaud the leaders of these three countries for their ongoing and increasingly close cooperative relationship, and we look forward to a fourth Trilateral Summit in 2018. The American Hellenic and American Jewish communities are committed to advancing the trilateral partnership.  We will continue to work to foster closer cooperation with the United States and support the common efforts to achieve tangible and measurable outcomes.  For example, we are optimistic about initiatives involving youth exchanges. Finally, we are grateful to the many leaders who afforded us the opportunity to exchange views and ideas. The friendship and hospitality shown to us made the trip even more meaningful and productive.”

AHI President Nick Larigakis added: “We are grateful to all our hosts. In Greece, we were extremely grateful for the hospitality provided by several government officials. We sincerely thank Admiral Evangelos Apostolakis, chief of the Hellenic National Defense General Staff, who hosted us for a reception and dinner at the Hellenic Armed Forces Officers’ Club upon our arrival to Greece. Also, he graciously provided us with escort transportation during our visit. We also thank his staff, Brigadier General Angelos Choudeloudis, director of the Public Relations Directorate for the Hellenic National Defense General Staff; and Mrs. Nora Spiliotopoulou, for her assistance with logistics. Further, we sincerely thank Defense Minister Panos Kammenos for hosting us for a luncheon with several high-ranking military officials at the Ministry of Defense. Additionally, we are very grateful for the hospitality of Mr. Dimitri Contominas, who opened up his home and hosted us for a luncheon.”


The AHI delegation visited the Patriarchate of Jerusalem and had a two-hour audience with His Beatitude Theophilos III, Patriarch of Jerusalem and All Palestine, on January 19. The discussion included the recent challenges and issues facing the Patriarchate of Jerusalem and Christians in the Holy Land.  Following the audience with Patriarch Theophilos, the AHI delegation visited the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

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