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