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US Greek Cypriots to focus on Jewish help to pressure Turkey

Head of PSEKA Philip Christopher

Government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides is to address the annual conference of the International Coordinating Committee “Justice for Cyprus”, (PSEKA), which will take place between Tuesday and Thursday in Washington DC, it was announced on Monday.
The head of PSEKA Philip Christopher said that the leaders of the Greek Cypriot diaspora in the US will demand the Obama government puts pressure on Turkey over a settlement of the Cyprus problem.
He said that the false optimism over a settlement being reached in 2016 needs to change. Only by pressuring Turkey can a settlement be achieved, he said, and so far this has not been done.
In this year’s conference the main focus will be on forging alliances, he said. Speaking to TVONE News, Christopher said that as part of the event, a delegation of PSEKA is to meet with US Vice President Joe Biden at the White House. Increased participation of Jewish and Armenian organisations at the organisation, he said, would also help exert more pressure on Turkey.
“(The conference) was organised to coincide with the global Jewish advocacy organisation’s (AJC) global forum. It is no coincidence that government spokesman Nikos Christodoulides will speak at the conference of the Jewish lobby and will also be a speaker in our own conference,” Philip said.
The ambassadors of Israel, Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon, Cyprus and Greece will also attend.
“This alliance is key for us because we believe that for a solution to the Cyprus problem, first of all, the alliance between Cyprus and Israel must be strengthened,” Christopher said. “I do not believe in miracles, but it’s time to push even more the case, relying on the fact that Jewish organisations are against Turkey and this will help us a lot.”
The second objective of the conference, he said, is to present “the actual data from the negotiating table to the US Department of State because they believe that we are close to a solution in Cyprus”.
“And of course we all know the solution is not ready because the signs showed by Turkey and the Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan have nothing to do with what is being heard from various parties such as the Congress and the US Department of State, that there is a ready-made solution for the Cyprus problem,” Christopher said.
He added that on Thursday they are to visit the White House and the US Vice-President Joe Biden.
“We do not forget that he gave us promises and we will draw attention to the lack of progress in the dialogue to resolve the Cyprus problem, and it is incorrectly transmitted that there is progress,” Christopher said.
“We know that Turkey not only does not want a solution, but the goal is the whole of Cyprus and not the Cyprus problem”.
PSEKA will also focus on the energy issue and trade opportunities for US companies that want to move their operations to Cyprus. US deputy undersecretary of commerce Kenneth Hyatt will participate in the conference “to talk about the issue of energy and how we can use this to bring a solution to the Cyprus problem”.
The PSEKA conference will conclude with a briefing by a senior consultant on political issues for the Donald Trump campaign and by a senior advisor on foreign policy for the Hillary Clinton campaign.

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