WASHINGTON, DC (January 17, 2014) - A 15-member delegation of community leaders from American Hellenic and American Jewish organizations embarked on a historic three-country Leadership Mission to Israel, Cyprus, and Greece, Jan. 8 to 15, 2014, to explore the major political, economic, and security developments underway in the eastern Mediterranean and to advance United States interests in the region. Meetings were held with 20-plus high-ranking government, military, and religious officials-in addition to local community leaders-from the three countries and the United States. The participating organizations included: the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA), the American Hellenic Institute (AHI), B'nai B'rith International, and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.
"Our meetings made clear that the trilateral relationship between Israel, Cyprus, and Greece is vibrant and strong on all levels. We believe the relationship has developed to the betterment of the region and is on sustained course. In a region with so much instability, the trilateral relationship possesses the potential to allow the eastern Mediterranean to become a community of nations based on shared common values and aspirations. We applaud the leaders of these three countries for their foresight in establishing this cooperative relationship which we hope other nations will join.
"The American Hellenic and American Jewish communities will continue to work to foster closer cooperation in the United States and support the trilateral relationship. 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 all the more meaningful and productive."
Leadership Mission: Listing of Meetings
*Minister of Tourism Uzi Landau, Ph.D.
*Deputy National Security Advisor Dr. Eran Lerman
*Minister of Defense Lt. Gen. (ret.) Moshe Ya'alon
*Minister of Economy, Religious Services, Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs Naftali Bennett
*Speaker of the Knesset Yoel (Yuli) Edelstein
*Minister of Foreign Affairs Avigdor Lieberman
*Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Zeev Elkin
*Minister of Strategic Affairs, Intelligence and International Relations Yuval Steinitz
*The joint delegation also held a round-table discussion with Israeli ambassadors and ambassadors-delegate to Greece and Cyprus as well as several officials from the ministry of Foreign Affairs and received a briefing from the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).
*Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulidis
*His Beatitude Archbishop Chrysostomos II of Cyprus
*Ambassador of Cyprus to the United States George Chacalli
*President of the Hellenic Republic Karolos Papoulias
*Prime Minister Antonis Samaras
*Minister of Defense Dimitris Avramopoulos
*Speaker of Hellenic Parliament Evangelos Meimarakis
*Minister of Tourism Olga Kefalogianni
*Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Kyriakos Gerontopoulos
*Minister of Culture and Sports Panos Panagiotopoulos
*American Ambassador to Greece David Pearce
*Israeli Ambassador to Greece Arye Mekel
Leadership Mission: Participating Organizations & Their Participants
American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA) is a leading membership-based grassroots association for American citizens of Greek heritage and Philhellenes. Its mission is to promote the ancient Greek ideals of Education, Philanthropy, Civic Responsibility, and Family and Individual Excellence through community service and volunteerism.
*Supreme President Anthony Kouzounis
*Past Canadian President Nick Aroutzidis
*Executive Director Basil Mossaidis
*Consultant Andrew G. Kaffes
American Hellenic Institute (AHI) is a non-profit Greek American think-tank and public policy center that works to strengthen relations between the United States and Greece and Cyprus, and within the Greek American community.
*President Nick Larigakis
*Vice President James Lagos
*Board Member Konstantinos Alexakis
*Board Member Peter Bota
B'nai B'rith International is a worldwide Jewish community service organization widely known as one of the world's most influential humanitarian, human rights and advocacy organizations.
*President Allan J. Jacobs
*Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin
*Board of Governors Member William Bram
*Director of B'nai B'rith World Center Alan Schneider
The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations is a central coordinating body for American Jewry, representing 52 national Jewish agencies from across the political and religious spectrums.
*Chairman Robert G. Sugarman
*Executive Vice Chairman Malcolm Hoenlein
*Former Chairman Richard B. Stone