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Cyprus-US Chamber Honors a Friend from the Past (and Present)

By on February 17, 2014
Secretary of Energy, Dr Ernest Moniz is receiving the Cyprus-US Distinguished Merit Award. From left, Theo David, Vassos Vassiliou, Andy Comodromos, Renos Georgiou, Nikos Mouyiaris, Despina Axiotakis. The Honoree, Dr. Ernest J. Moniz, Michael Hadjiloucas, Nicholas Karacostas, Nicolas Nicolaou, Nicole Pettalides Tsiolas, Chris Nicolaou, Dennis Droushiotis, Christos Theoharis, Peter Kakoyiannis, PHOTO: ETA PRESS

Secretary of Energy, Dr Ernest Moniz is receiving the Cyprus-US Distinguished Merit Award. From left, Theo David, Vassos Vassiliou, Andy Comodromos, Renos Georgiou, Nikos Mouyiaris, Despina Axiotakis. The Honoree, Dr. Ernest J. Moniz, Michael Hadjiloucas, Nicholas Karacostas, Nicolas Nicolaou, Nicole Pettalides Tsiolas, Chris Nicolaou, Dennis Droushiotis, Christos Theoharis, Peter Kakoyiannis, PHOTO: ETA PRESS

US Secretary of Energy, Dr Ernest Moniz, has been an active and proven friend of Cyprus, so receiving the prestigious Cyprus-US Distinguished Merit Award during the Cyprus-US Chamber of Commerce 10th annual Testimonial Dinner, held at NY Hilton Hotel this past December, came as natural as …the Season’s Greetings! One of the founding members of the Cyprus Institute, Dr. Moniz helped to set up and conceptualize the organization, and channel it to a collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), opening hew horizons for ideas, research and opportunities. On top of that, he headed a joint research enterprise on the strategic choices available in relation to natural gas reserves within the island’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The Republic of Cyprus has bestowed Dr. Moniz the Grand Cross of the Order of Makarios III for his contribution to research, technology and education.

Dr. Ernest Moniz, Secretary of Energy, with Nick Karakostas, President of the CyprusUS Chamber of Commerce, PHOTO: ETA PRESS

Dr. Ernest Moniz, Secretary of Energy, with Nick Karakostas, President of the CyprusUS Chamber of Commerce, PHOTO: ETA PRESS

Cyprus-US Chamber Chairman Nick Karacostas thanked Dr. Moniz for his contribution to the strengthening of relations between Cyprus and the US and considered it an honor for the organization to have the US Secretary of Energy attend the event at such a crucial period for the eastern Mediterranean region.

Consul General of Cyprus Koula Sophianou having received a special commemorative award on behalf of the Chamber, PHOTO: ETA PRESS

Consul General of Cyprus Koula Sophianou having received a special commemorative award on behalf of the Chamber, PHOTO: ETA PRESS

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades, in a message read by departing Consul General Koula Sofianou, called Dr. Moniz “an old friend of Cyprus” and praised his contribution in establishing the Cyprus Institute and enhancing the island’s strategic choices as they relate to its hydrocarbons reserves.

Anastasiades also congratulated the Chamber on its contribution to developing relations between Cyprus and the US and its role in efforts with the rest of the Greek American community for a just, viable and mutually accepted resolution of the Cyprus problem.

Accepting the award, Secretary Moniz referred to the Cyprus Institute and to his efforts to set up a research center of global influence that would address scientifically issues of great importance related to the island and the broader region.

He then mildly touched energy issues, citing a comment by President of Turkey Abdullah Gul who described energy reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean as the basis for more understanding and cooperation. “Let’s hope that these funds will help to the solution of the problems of the region,” he stressed.

From left, Stephen Cherperlis, Zoe Koutsoupakis, Monika Buono, Jack Kivotidis, Fanny Trataros, Mathew Mironis, PHOTO: ETA PRESS

From left, Stephen Cherperlis, Zoe Koutsoupakis, Monika Buono, Jack Kivotidis, Fanny Trataros, Mathew Mironis, PHOTO: ETA PRESS

Dr. Moniz thanked the Chamber for the honorary distinction and observed that although Cyprus and the US are so different when it comes to size, they both share the same democratic traditions. He closed expressing the hope that relations between the two countries will be further developed and strengthened.

An always sparkling FOX Business Network’s anchorwoman Nicole Petallides was the dinner’s MC, setting the festive yet elegant tone.

US Secretary of Energy, Dr. Ernest Moniz, with Andreas Komosdromos, Despina Axiotakis and members of the Youth division of the Cyprus US Chamber of Commerce. Also, Cyprus Trade Commissioner, Aristos Constantine, Laura Neroulias, Nicolas Nicolaou, Renos Savvides, Stathis Theodoropoulos, Iacovos Zachariades, Nicholas Kinnis, Dimitris Comodromos, Anthony Kinnis, Nick Kinnis, Savvas Argyrou and Eleni Eracleous, PHOTO: ETA PRESS

US Secretary of Energy, Dr. Ernest Moniz, with Andreas Komosdromos, Despina Axiotakis and members of the Youth division of the Cyprus US Chamber of Commerce. Also, Cyprus Trade Commissioner, Aristos Constantine, Laura Neroulias, Nicolas Nicolaou, Renos Savvides, Stathis Theodoropoulos, Iacovos Zachariades, Nicholas Kinnis, Dimitris Comodromos, Anthony Kinnis, Nick Kinnis, Savvas Argyrou and Eleni Eracleous, PHOTO: ETA PRESS

The Chamber’s Executive Director Despina Axiotakis thanked the supporter’s of the event, especially board members Nikos Mouyiaris and Nicos Nicolaou, for underwriting the tickets of the Cypriot American Young Professional Network members. Their presence offered additional strikes of vitality and beauty to a very well organized and executed event.

About Demetrios Rhompotis

Demetrios Rhompotis is Publishing Committee Chairman at NEO Magazine. E-mail: dondemetrio@neomagazine.com. Phone: (718) 554-0308