Visa waiver and US financial aid to Cyprus under discussion, Zemenides tells CNA

We see a lot going on, both in defence and in politics towards Russia, but some great ideas for visa waiver and other financial aid for Cyprus are also being discussed, the Executive Director of the Hellenic American Leadership Council (HALC), Endy Zemenides has said noting the progress that has been made in bilateral relations between Cyprus and United States of America. In statements to the Cyprus News Agency, Zemenides highlighted the close relations of Cyprus and Greece with the USA, the progress that has been made in recent years with the contribution of the Greek-American community and also commented on the presidential elections held today in Turkey. Invited to comment on the participation of more than 40 Congress members and Senators in the 38th Annual PSEKA Cyprus Conference that t??? place in Washington DC on May 9-11, Zemenides described it as impressive. "With what has been going on lately, such as the war in Ukraine, it was impressive that 40 Congress members and Senators attended the conference and indeed from the most important ones,' he said. He went on to add that 'it is important that not only the expatriate community, but also Greece and Cyprus have such appreciation. We cannot imagine and we must not forget where we were five years ago and compare it with today". He also referred to the progress that has been made in recent years in the relations between Cyprus and Greece with the US State Department. He said he was impressed by Congress member David Cicilline and quoted him as saying "who would have imagined ten years ago when I met you that today we would arrive here. That the East Med Act had passed, Greece and Cyprus would have been at the center of American politics, we would have succeeded in lifting the embargo." "But here we are today and with such foundations we can go further" he said. Asked about a possible policy change vis-a-vis the Cyprus issue after the presidential elections in Turkey, Zemenides said that we have to wait and see. "We have many things happening right now. We have to see what will happen with the elections in Turkey, the changes and opportunities when the elections are over. And not because one [presidential candidate] is better than the other, not because they will be friendlier or more peaceful, but because Turkey has huge economic needs. He [the next Turkish president] will have to change course if he wants to have support from America and Europe, otherwise he will be financially ruined,' HALC Executive Director said. Erdogan already has a big problem with inflation, he has a lot of debt, he has spent all the funds to become president again, he further noted. 'He gave increases to the Public Sector salaries 45% and I don't understand what money he will have in the summer,' Zemenides added. 'For the financial aid that Turkey will need, it will have to come to terms with the West. And he cannot get along with the West as long as he has these positions towards Greece and Cyprus," he also noted. The executive director of HALC also referred to the new US ambassador in Nicosia. "For the first time we see such a good choice in American diplomacy. It reminds me a little of the case of Pyatt when he went to Greece. The fact that she took over almost at the same time that Christodoulides [assumed office] is important,' he pointed out. 'We see a lot going on, both in defense and in politics towards Russia, but some great ideas for visa waiver and other financial aid for Cyprus are also being discussed,' Zemenides went on. 'I used to believe that the closer the bilateral relations between Nicosia and Washington become, the easier the solution will be. For decades we did the opposite. We were holding bilateral relations hostage in the Cyprus issue and that is why nothing was being done. If we do the opposite, we may have some results," Zemenide said.

Source: Cyprus News Agency