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Senator Allen: A Preeminent Leader for Hellenic and Orthodox Issues

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    http://www.greeknewsonline.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=5313 Senator Allen: A Preeminent Leader for Hellenic and Orthodox Issues Washington,
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 31, 2006

      Senator Allen: A Preeminent Leader for Hellenic and Orthodox Issues

      Washington, D.C.- Senator George Allen (R-VA), the Chairman of the Senate
      Foreign Relations Committee’s European Affairs Subcommittee, and possible
      candidate for President of the United States, has become a preeminent
      leader in the U.S. Senate for Hellenic and Orthodox issues. Some recent
      examples include his leading criticism of the Annan Plan for Cyprus, the
      effort to stop Turkey’s pending elimination of the 2,000 year-old
      Ecumenical Patriarchate, and the effort to promote Greece’s role as a
      regional leader.

      Senator Allen secured a majority of the Republicans in the U.S. Senate on
      the subcommittee with jurisdiction over the Cyprus issue – his European
      Affairs Subcommittee – to encourage their Republican administration to
      develop a new settlement proposal, instead of the Annan plan. They asked,
      in June of 2005, for one which reflects our own democratic principles and
      ideals and would be acceptable to western democracies, including the United
      States. Allen’s subcommittee was the only American government entity to
      criticize Annan and justify the Greek-Cypriot vote against Annan.

      For these and other efforts, Senator Allen was honored before over 100
      Hellenic leaders from across the U.S. and around the world at the 16th
      Annual Cyprus Conference in Washington, D.C. on June 16, 2005. His award
      contained an actual piece of the barbed wire that divides Cyprus.

      Ecumenical Patriarchate

      Senator Allen is now leading an historic effort to prevent the elimination
      of the 2,000-year-old head of the world’s second largest Christian church
      (Orthodox) – the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul, Turkey. His letter to
      the President about this matter, also originally signed by the European
      Affairs Subcommittee Ranking Democrat, Senator Joe Biden (D-DE), and the
      Greek Orthodox Senators, Paul Sarbanes (D-MD) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME), has
      secured the signatures of more Senators (46) than 98% of such letters.
      Senator Allen’s letter moves this religious crisis of historic magnitude
      higher on our foreign policy agenda.

      This letter tells the President that, “only stronger American and European
      Union support for the religious freedom of the Ecumenical Patriarchate can
      prevent a religious tragedy of historic magnitude. Seventy-five percent of
      the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s properties have already been confiscated by
      the Turkish government. Beyond this, the Patriarchate’s dissolution in the
      coming decades is essentially inevitable if Turkey continues its policy of
      prohibiting all 250 million non-Turkish Orthodox Christians from becoming
      Ecumenical Patriarch. Turkey itself only has 2,500 remaining Orthodox
      Christians and they are a mostly elderly community.”

      Senator Allen also took the opportunity of the confirmation hearings of
      U.S. Ambassador to Turkey-designate Ross Wilson on November 9, 2005, to
      focus America on this crisis facing the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Senator
      Allen, who chaired the hearing, chose this Orthodox catastrophe as the
      subject of the only question that he asked. Ambassador Wilson indicated
      that he planned to conduct himself in Turkey in a way that would make clear
      to the government of Turkey the American government’s deep concern about
      the treatment of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. He indicated that he would
      also do what he could to have US Senators and Members of Congress visiting
      Turkish government officials also make clear America’s desires on this matter.


      Chairman Allen recently welcomed, on behalf of the U.S. Senate, the
      Ambassador of Greece to the United States, Alexandros Mallias, to a
      briefing of Washington policymakers in the U.S. Capitol building. This June
      15, 2006 briefing helped promote the important role that Greece is playing
      in the Balkans.

      On all Hellenic and Orthodox matters, Senator Allen consults with Virginia
      State Senator Nick Rerras.
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