U.S. Senators Express Gratitude to the Republic of Cyprus

Senator Menendez leads bipartisan Senate effort in thanking
President Papadopoulos for Cypriot help with U.S. Citizens leaving Lebanon

WASHINGTON – A bipartisan group of Senators, led by United States Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), together with Senators Paul S. Sarbanes (D-MD) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME), sent a letter to Republic of Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos to express their deepest thanks for that country’s assistance in helping Americans who have left Lebanon over the past several weeks.

“The safe departure of U.S. citizens from Lebanon has been a critical undertaking, one that the Cypriot government has played a central role in carrying out, both unflinchingly and without question,” the lawmakers wrote. “By embracing Americans in need, your country has given meaning to the saying by the great Greek philosopher Epicurus that, ‘It is not so much our friends' help that helps us as the confident knowledge that they will help us.’”
Since the start of evacuation efforts, approximately 15,000 U.S. citizens had been transported out of Lebanon by the United States, nearly all of them through Cyprus. The Cypriot government opened the country’s ports, provided food and water to evacuees, and arranged shelter for those fleeing Lebanon.

U.S. Sen. Menendez

Senators joining Menendez, Sarbanes and Snowe in writing President Papadopoulos, include: George Allen (R-VA), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Daniel K. Akaka (D-HI), Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Max Baucus (D-MT), Robert F. Bennett (R-UT), Joseph R. Biden, Jr. (D-DE), Evan Bayh (D-IN), Christopher S. Bond (R-MO), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Sam Brownback (R-KS), Robert C. Byrd (D-WV), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Thomas R. Carper (D-DE), Lincoln Chafee (R-RI), Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY), Norm Coleman (R-MN), Susan M. Collins (R-ME), Kent Conrad (D-ND), Mike DeWine (R-OH), Christopher J. Dodd (D-CT), Elizabeth Dole (R-NC), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Mark Dayton (D-MN), Byron L. Dorgan (D-ND), Russell D. Feingold (D-WI), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Chuck Grassley (D-IA), Judd Gregg (R-NH), Chuck Hagel (R-NE), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Daniel K. Inouye (D-HI), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), James M. Jeffords (I-VT), Tim Johnson (D-SD), Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA), John F. Kerry (D-MA), Herb Kohl (D-WI), Mary L. Landrieu (D-LA), Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ), Patrick J. Leahy (D-VT), Carl Levin (D-MI), Joseph I. Lieberman (D-CT), Blanche L. Lincoln (D-AR), Trent Lott (R-MS), Mel Martinez (R-FL), Barbara A. Mikulski (D-MD), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Patty Murray (D-WA), Benjamin E. Nelson (D-NE), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Barack Obama (D-IL), Mark L. Pryor (D-AR), Harry Reid (D-NV), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Ken Salazar (D-CO), Jack Reed (D-RI), John D. Rockefeller IV (D-WV), Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Gordon H. Smith (R-OR), Arlen Specter (R-PA), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Ted Stevens (R-AK), John E. Sununu (R-NH), George V. Voinovich (R-OH) and Ron Wyden (D-OR).



The full text of the letter to President Papadopoulos follows.

July 31, 2006
President Tassos Papadopoulos
Republic of Cyprus
Nicosia, Cyprus

Dear Mr. President:

We are writing on behalf of the United States Senate and the American people to express our gratitude to you, your government, and the people of Cyprus for the extraordinary support and kindness extended to U.S. and other citizens leaving Lebanon over the past few weeks. By embracing Americans in need, your country has given meaning to the saying by the great Greek philosopher Epicurus that, “It is not so much our friends' help that helps us as the confident knowledge that they will help us."

Approximately 14,700 U.S. citizens had been transported out of Lebanon by the United States as of July 31st, 2006, nearly all of them through Cyprus. The leadership exhibited by the Cypriot government and the generosity of the Cypriot people to accommodate these and the many other citizens of other countries during this trying time will not soon be forgotten by the United States. The safe departure of U.S. citizens from Lebanon has been a critical undertaking, one that the Cypriot government has played a central role in carrying out, both unflinchingly and without question. Your government’s work to open Cypriot ports, provide food and water, and facilitate shelter was essential to meeting their needs.

We would also like to extend our sincere appreciation to your government for working effectively and successfully with our Embassy, military officials, and government representatives, in Nicosia, Larnaca, and in Washington, and for everything they have done to help U.S. citizens in Cyprus. The Cypriot Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other relevant agencies stationed representatives at the Port of Larnaca around the clock in order to assist foreign nationals arriving in Cyprus. Because many of those transiting Cyprus have remained on the island for several days until chartered flights are available to carry them to their onward destinations, the Cyprus State Fairs Authority generously made its premises in Nicosia available to U.S. citizens as a temporary residence until their departure from Cyprus could be arranged.

We would again like to express our thanks to you, to your government, and to the people of Cyprus for all of your hard work in assisting U.S. citizens in Cyprus.

Sincerely,

(Undersigned by U.S. Congressional members)


(Posting date 08 August 2006)

Congressman Robert Menendez is serving his seventh term in the U.S. House of Representatives as a representative to New Jersey's 13th Congressional District along the Hudson River. He is the Chairman of the Democratic Caucus, re-elected to a second term by his colleagues on 17 November 2004. In that post, Rep. Menendez is the 3rd-ranking Democrat in the House, the highest-ranking Hispanic in Congressional history and the only one ever elected to a leadership position in either chamber. He has been a strong proponent of issues of interest to Greek-Americans; see other releases about him on HCS at the following URL's:

http://www.helleniccomserve.com/menendezcyprusanniv.html
http://www.helleniccomserve.com/menendezsupportspatriarch.html
http://www.helleniccomserve.com/menendezarmenians.html
http://www.helleniccomserve.com/menendezupdatefall05.html

For more information, visit the Congressman's official website at http://menendez.house.gov/

HCS encourages readers to view other articles and releases in our permanent, extensive archives at the URL http://www.helleniccomserve.com/contents.html.



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