SAE USA Coordinator Theodore G. Spyropoulos today appealed to new President Barack Obama to review all U.S. policies and practices relating to Hellenic issues.
Mr. Spyropoulos stated that America’s Hellenic community looks forward to a change in US policies involving issues of interest to Americans of Hellenic heritage, “a review by your administration of the U.S. foreign policy that has demonstrated ignorance of history, has continued to fan the fires of conflict in the Balkans and is destabilizing Southeastern Europe”.
Specifically, the Coordinator of SAE USA highlighted the Greek National Issues of the conflict on Cyprus, the violation of Greek airspace by Turkish Fighter planes, the blatant issues of human and religious rights in connection with the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the continued violation of human rights affecting Greeks in Northern Epirus (Albania), and last but not least the outstanding issue of agreeing upon the name for FYROM acceptable to Hellenes which would be a positive reversal of existing U.S. policy.
The entire text of Mr. Spyropoulos’s letter follows:
“Americans of Hellenic heritage, and SAE USA Region and myself, proudly congratulate you on the solemn occasion of your inauguration as the 44th President of this great country, the United States of America.
“We listened to your inspiring inaugural speech with renewed hope for our nation and a strengthened resolution about the principled role America should play internationally as it follows the rule of law and seeks justice when conflicts rise.
“We have also been following with awe the positive response your election and speeches have drawn in Greece and in Europe in general. We have been very pleased and honored on your behalf to receive praising remarks about our new President from sources that have been critical in the past. It is obvious that the world is ready to embrace American leadership with admiration and hope.
“Therefore, even at this early date in your consideration of international issues, we, Americans of Hellenic descent, wish to bring to you a number of issues in American foreign policy that are of interest to us as a community:
“The island of Cyprus remains largely occupied by Turkish invasion armies while Turkish fighter planes routinely violate the Aegean airspace of Greece, a member of ΝΑΤΟ and of the European Union. At the same time, basic religious and human rights are violated constantly as in the paradigmatic case of the Greek Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarchate in Constantinople accentuated by the continued forcible closure of the Theological School of Halki.
“Under previous and in fact the most recent administrations, American foreign policy has sidestepped the issues of human and minority rights for Greeks in Northern Epirus in Albania, and has “jumped the gun” as it ignored history and dismissed Greek peaceful attempts to resolve differences with the government of FYROM. The U.S. administration, by acting unilaterally and in a very undeserved way against Greece and in opposition to the practice of almost every other nation in Europe officially recognized a new FYROM name that is the basis for indefinite conflict.
“Mr. President, as America’s Hellenic community we look forward to a review by your administration of the U.S. foreign policy that has demonstrated ignorance of history, has continued to fan the fires of conflict in the Balkans and is destabilizing Southeastern Europe.
“With much anticipation for new beginnings that will be based on the principles of truth and understanding, I am,
Theodore G. Spyropoulos
Coordinator SAE USA”