WASHINGTON, DC—The American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (Order of AHEPA), American Hellenic Institute (AHI), B’nai B’rith International, and Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations issued the following joint statement:
“We welcome the third trilateral summit between Israel, Greece and Cyprus, held in Thessaloniki, Greece, June 15, 2017. The summit again demonstrates the ongoing commitment between the three countries, which share common democratic values, principles and interests, to strengthen their strategic partnership to provide stability to the eastern Mediterranean region. The announcement of a fourth summit to be held in Cyprus in late 2017 is a further indication of the partnership’s development and significance. “We are encouraged that the trilateral relationship is addressing critical sectors such as: energy cooperation, specifically in the field of natural gas; infrastructure and water; research and innovation, which is so vital to Greece; and foreign affairs, including enhanced relations between the EU and Israel. The importance of such a forum where discussions are held at the highest levels of government about the Middle East peace process, the Cyprus settlement talks, terrorism, and migratory flows—all critical to the region’s security—cannot be overstated. Moreover, we continue to see growth in other critical sectors, such as tourism, that are a direct result of this strategic partnership.
“Furthermore, we applaud the unveiling of a plaque to mark the construction of a new Holocaust museum and the summit’s condemnation of the denial of the Holocaust and all forms of anti-Semitism, racial discrimination, and xenophobia.
“Finally, we welcome the summit’s recognition of the importance of cooperation between the diasporas of the three countries, especially in areas of culture, education, and youth. For our part, we take pride in providing broad support and encouragement for advancing the trilateral relationship’s advancement, and we look forward to continuing to do so in the future.”
In January 2016, our four organizations joined together for the second Leadership Mission to Israel, Cyprus and Greece; and are planning a third combined mission in 2018. The groundbreaking inaugural mission was held in January 2014 and led to greater understanding between our communities and the greater recognition of our common values, intents, and aspirations.
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Founded in 1922 in Atlanta, Georgia, on the principles that undergirded its fight for civil rights and against discrimination, bigotry, and hatred felt at the hands of the Ku Klux Klan, AHEPA is the largest and oldest grassroots association of American citizens of Greek heritage and Philhellenes with more than 400 chapters across the United States, Canada, and Europe.
AHEPA's mission is to promote the ancient Greek ideals of Education, Philanthropy, Civic Responsibility, and Family and Individual Excellence through community service and volunteerism.
For more information, please visit www.ahepa.org.