Greek Defense Minister Spiliotopoulos
Visits AHI, Confers Award

Washington, DC — On April 25, 2005, the Greek Minister of Defense, Spilios Spiliotopoulos, accompanied by the Ambassador of Greece George Savvaides and a small delegation of the Minister's staff and advisers, visited the American Hellenic Institute's headquarters, the Hellenic House. While at Hellenic House, the Defense Minister met with members of the AHI leadership, including Legal Counsel Nick Karambelas, AHI President Gene Rossides, Executive Director Nick Larigakis and the AHI staff.

The discussion centered on an exchange of dialogue pertaining to issues dealing with U.S.-Greek "strategic cooperation."

The AHI discussed with Minister Spiliotopoulos a number of issues of mutual concern in which the Institute has been very active bringing them to the attention of U.S. policy makers. This included the recent letter sent to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice regarding "Turkey's violation of U.S. law by its recent transfer of U.S.-origin tanks to Cyprus." A memorandum of law, prepared by AHI Advisory Committee member, Thanos Basdekis, Esq., which discusses in greater detail this matter, accompanied the letter.

In addition, the violations of Greece's territorial integrity by Turkey were a main focus of the discussion, specifically as it relates to the Aegean Sea boundary and the airspace over Greece. Regarding the Aegean Sea boundary, the AHI informed the Defense Minister as to the impending legislation that the AHI has prepared and will be soon introduced in the Congress which calls for the United States to recognize publicly the Aegean Sea boundary as established by international law and treaties, one of which the United States is a signatory.

"The exchange today with Minister Spiliotopoulos was very valuable, as it also provided us with a better understanding of the issues relating to the Aegean," said AHI Executive Director, Nick Larigakis.

During the discussion, there was a general consensus that Greece seems to be in a much closer relationship with the U.S. whereby the U.S. is viewing Greece as an important strategic partner for U.S interests, not only in the immediate region, but also in the wider region.

Much of this good will has stemmed following the successful visit by Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis and Minister of Public Order Georgios Voulgarakis in recent months to Washington.

At the conclusion of the visit, Minister Spiliotopoulos presented Mr. Rossides with a gift plaque on behalf of the Greek Ministry of National Defense for his tireless efforts in promoting U.S.-Greek relations.

"We were most honored by Minister Spiliotopoulos' visit to the Hellenic House along with the delegation from his Ministry. We look forward to working together in the future on issues of mutual interest to U.S.-Greece relations, especially those concerning Greece's territorial integrity in the Aegean. As long as the U.S. refuses to publicly acknowledge Greece's Aegean Sea boundary, tensions will continue to ferment and this has the potential for destabilizing the region and by extension threatening U.S. interests in the region," said AHI President, Gene Rossides.

For more information, view other press releases issued by AHI on the archives of the HCS website or visit the website of American Hellenic Institute at

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