American Hellenic Institute


Facebook Image
AHI Executive Director Participates In Voice Of America Televised Debate
May 4, 2000 No. 26/2000 (202) 785-8430

AHI Executive Director Participates In Voice Of America Televised Debate

On May 3, 2000 the Voice of America Greek and Turkish services held a debate on "Greek-Turkish Rapprochement and Its Effect on Efforts for Regional Peace and Security," The debate was televised live and was simultaneously available on the Internet.

The debate was opened by VOA Director Sanford J. Ungar who introduced taped presentations from Foreign Ministers George Papandreou of Greece and Ismail Cem of Turkey. Two panels followed "The Elements Behind the Current Greek-Turkish Rapprochement" and "Effects of the Greek-Turkish Rapprochement on the Efforts for Regional Peace and Stability." These were moderated respectively by Mr. Taclan Suerdem, Chief VOA Turkish Service, and Mr. George Bistis, Chief VOA Greek Service.

AHI Executive Director Nick Larigakis was invited to make a presentation to the second panel. In his remarks, Mr. Larigakis welcomed the new atmosphere in relations between Greece and Turkey and stressed the support in the Greek American community for this development. Mr. Larigakis stated that the problems between Greece and Turkey--the Aegean, Cyprus, the Orthodox Church in Turkey--had been going on for far too long. Describing the current time as particularly favorable for a settlement of these problems, Mr. Larigakis called for active U.S. involvement in the negotiation process,

The other panelists were: Dr. Sabri Sayari, Director, Institute of Turkish Studies, Georgetown University, Mr. John Sitilides, Executive Director Western Policy Center, Mr. Jonathan Clarke, Scholar Cato Institute, Ms. Guler Koknar, Executive Director Assembly of Turkish-American Associations, and Mr. Charles Kupchan, Senior Fellow, Council of Foreign Relations.

Those wishing to view this program may visit the VOA website at