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Meetings with Members of Congress, State Department Officials Held
March 20, 2015—No. 9 (202) 785-8430

Meetings with Members of Congress, State Department Officials Held

WASHINGTON, DC—American Hellenic Institute (AHI) President Nick Larigakis and Legislative Director Georgea Polizos met recently with members of Congress and State Department officials to review AHI’s policy agenda and to provide updates on the latest developments in the eastern Mediterranean. 

The legislators they met with were: U.S. Reps. Ed Royce (R-CA), chairman, House Committee on Foreign Affairs, March 17; Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) and Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), co-chairs, Congressional Caucus on Hellenic Issues, February 4; Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), chair, House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, March 17; Grace Meng (D-NY), member, House Committee on Foreign Affairs, February 3;  Ted Deutch (D-FL), co-chair, Congressional Hellenic Israeli Alliance, and member, House Committee on Foreign Affairs, March 17; Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), ranking member, House Committee on Budget, February 26; John Sarbanes (D-MD), February 4, and Niki Tsongas (D-MA), February 4. Larigakis and Polizos also met with the senior foreign affairs staff of U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), who is the ranking member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, on February 4.

On March 10, 2015, Larigakis and Polizos met with Deputy Assistant Secretary Amanda Sloat and Greek Desk Officer Nicole Lima Nucelli.

 “As part of our ongoing outreach to Congress and to the administration, we provided the officials with an overview of AHI’s policy objectives and brought them up-to-speed on developments in the region,”Larigakis said. “It is important to raise awareness and continue dialogue with policymakers as well as advising them that AHI serves as a resource of information for them.   We thank them for their time and interest in issues affecting the Greek American community.” 

The American Hellenic Institute is an independent non-profit Greek American public policy center and think tank that works to strengthen relations between the United States and Greece and Cyprus, and within the Greek American community.


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For additional information, please contact Georgea Polizos at (202) 785-8430 or at For general information about the activities of AHI, please see our website at and follow us on Twitter @TheAHIinDC.


March 2, 2015
The Editor
The Economist

Dear Editor,

“A semi-guided missile” (Feb. 28, 2015) unfortunately casts doubt on Greece’s important strategic value as a NATO ally, or at the very least, views Greece’s role as being modest or diminished.  To be clear, despite Greece’s economic woes, Greece is only one of four NATO countries to maintain the 2% minimum standard for military expenditures at 2.3%.  NSA Souda Bay, Crete, which the article does reference, has supported a host of NATO missions, including the evacuation of Libya.  Also, Greece has supported NATO peacekeeping missions in Bosnia, Kosovo, and Afghanistan.  In addition to NSA Souda Bay, Greece is home to NATO Maritime Interdiction Operational Training Center (NMIOTC), which enables NATO to better execute maritime interdiction operations, and NATO Missile Firing Installation (NAMFI), the only ground-to-air/surface missile firing range in Europe that provides missile training for NATO forces. 

Furthermore, Greece has kept Europe safe through NATO counterterrorism and counter-piracy missions in the Mediterranean Sea.  These missions also will help NATO address a new security concern about greater access to the Mediterranean by ISIS, which presence eerily was felt recently on Libya’s Mediterranean coast, and the increased risk of military conflict ISIS poses in central and eastern Mediterranean.

Therefore, it is clear from these examples that Greece’s military value has not waned.  Instead, its value is as crucial as ever, especially to European nations, as new threats emerge in the Mediterranean.


Nick Larigakis
American Hellenic Institute
1220 16th Street, NW
Washington, DC  20036