34th annual PSEKA conference to take place in Washington 22-24 May

One hundred delegates from all over the US will participate in the 34th annual conference of the International Coordinating Committee – “Justice For Cyprus” (PSEKA) that will take place 22-24 of May in Washington, in the presence of Presidential Commissioner Photis Photiou.

Co-organisers of the conference are the Hellenic American Leadership Council (HALC), the Coordinated Effort of Hellenes, the American Jewish Committee, the Federation of Cypriot American Organisations, the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association, the American Hellenic Institute, and the Cyprus – US Chamber of Commerce.

The conference begins on Tuesday with a briefing by the Ambassadors of Greece and Cyprus in the US and welcoming addresses by the organisers.

On Wednesday meetings will take place with more than 40 prominent members of the US House and the Senate, and in the evening the official dinner will be held in which Deputy US Assistant Secretary of State Jonathan Cohen will be awarded with the Frese Prize, and Member of the U.S. House of Representatives Dina Titus with the “G. Livanos Award”.

During the opening ceremony, Presidential Commissioner Photis Photiou will brief delegates on the latest developments of the Cyprus problem, while the Israeli Ambassador will also speak at the conference given the latest developments with Turkey. Greek Foreign Minister Nicos Kotzias is invited to attend the conference, which will wrap up on Thursday with a briefing in the White House by a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Johnathan Cohen.

In statements to the Greek News newspaper, PSEKA President Philip Christofer spoke about the goals of the conference, and referred to the need that the Republic of Cyprus continues the exploitation of its hydrocarbon reserves.

He added that delegates would like to hear from the US government officials how they will address the Turkish threats against the Republic of Cyprus, noting in particular the involvement of US companies in Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone.

One other objective of the conference is to address the Turkish policy of integrating the Turkish occupied northern areas of Cyprus by the continuous transfer of settlers to the island as well as other interventions.

Christopher said that they support the Turkish Cypriots who are against these illegal settlements and the attempt to change the character of the occupied areas and Cyprus in general.

“Erdogan envisages an Islamic state in the occupied areas”, he added.

Meetings to be held on Wednesday with prominent members of the House and the Senate will raise issues related to the lifting of the US arms embargo against Cyprus and the various legislative initiatives to freeze the purchase of US arms systems by Turkey.

“The timing is appropriate, given the intensity of the Turkish provocations, not only against Cyprus, but also in the Aegean and elsewhere. His (Erdogans) rhetoric is aggressive against everyone in the region, including Israel, even against the US”, the PSEKA President said.

Source: Cyprus News Agency