The Cyprus problem and the contribution of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America to efforts to promote the issue in Washington as well as initiatives aiming at the solidarity of the Greek-American community with charity foundations in Cyprus, and educational issues will be on the agenda during the week-long visit by Archbishop of America Demetrios, which begins on Tuesday.
Demetrios will be received by President Nicos Anastasiades, who will host an official lunch in his honour. He will have meetings with Archbishop Chrysostomos II and government and parliamentary officials and with ambassadors.
Demetrios will also visit Apostolos Andreas in the north, and a number of charity institutions.
In an interview with the Cyprus News Agency, Demetrios described US engagement in the Cyprus issue as important.
He praised the contribution of Cypriots living in the US towards efforts to raise awareness as regards the Cyprus problem through their activities in Washington, at the White House, the State Department, the House and the Senate.
At the same time he noted the “strong alliance between the US and Turkey”, adding that even though relations had been tarnished, the situation in the Middle East had given Turkey a very serious role to play.
Asked if he agreed with US officials that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sincerely wanted a Cyprus settlement, Demetrios said: “We would like to believe that he is sincere in this.”
This will be Demetrios’ fourth visit to Cyprus.
Referring to educational issues, he noted that approximately 20 teachers from Greek schools in the US visit Cyprus every summer and attend a seminar, organised in cooperation with the University of Cyprus and the education ministry on how to teach the Greek language, Greek culture and Orthodoxy.