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May 2008

Cypriots in DC for the annual PSEKA Conference

The 24th Annual Cyprus, Hellenic and Orthodox Issues Conference is about to take place in Washington, D.C. on May 21-23, 2008. Hosted by The International Coordinating Committee Justice for Cyprus (PSEKA) and the Coordinated Effort of Hellenes, it provides Greek-Americans and Cypriot-American from across the country and Hellenes from around the world, the opportunity to meet with the highest-level administration officials in charge of U.S. policy toward Cyprus, Greece and Turkey.

"We are thrilled that this year we have a very strong representation from the occupied municipalities of Cyprus," said Philip Christopher, President of PSEKA. "Every year it becomes more and more important to maintain a strong foothold on Capitol Hill and push on the Cyprus issue. Having an international presence at the conference makes a strong impact on our representatives and administration officials."

Conference participants will also be meeting with over 30 key U.S. Senators and Members of Congress who serve on the pertinent committees and subcommittees and others who play a major role in the formulation of these matters. At previous conferences they have met with Presidents, Vice Presidents, cabinet members and senior officials, and “we anticipate doing so again this year,” Christopher said.

The International Coordinating Committee "Justice for Cyprus", also known as PSEKA, was founded in 1975 by the late President of Cyprus Archbishop Makarios. The organization, with headquarters in Nicosia, Cyprus, has chapters all over the world. Its North American headquarters are located in New York City. Today PSEKA is staffed by professionals and volunteers working together in cities all over the United States and Canada. Over the last few years, PSEKA and its Board of Directors has begun a push via the Internet, to raise awareness over the plight of the people of Cyprus.

PSEKA’s mission remains the pursuit of a just and viable solution to the Cyprus Problem, which will see the people of Cyprus free from the tyranny of an invading force - that of the Turkish Armed Forces - which occupies over 35% of its territory. While the history of the conflict between Turkey and Cyprus is rooted in the 60's and 70's, the repercussions of that conflict has definitely spilled over to the new millenium.

Today, the Cyprus Problem remains the major source of military and political tension in the southern sphere of influence of Europe and the Balkans region.

“We will never forget, we will never cease. Our mission is to see Cyprus free of occupying forces. This is a fate its people, both Greek and Turkish, deserve,” concluded Christopher, himself a refugee from the occupied city of Kyreneia.

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