New York City Mayor Eric Adams met on Tuesday with Archbishop of America Elpidophoros and other leaders of the Greek-American community in New York.
Among those present were businessmen Michael Psaros and John Catsimatidis, Chairman of the Friends of St. Nicholas Dennis Mehiel, President Biden’s nominee for U.S. Ambassador to Greece George Tsunis, New York State Senator Andrew Gounardes, AHEPA Supreme President Jimmy Kokotas, and other members of the Greek-American community.
According to an announcement from the Archdiocese of America, the meeting focused on key issues that had been raised at an earlier meeting between Adams and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew during the latter’s visit to the United States shortly after Adams’ election in November.
Adams listens to concerns of Greek-American leaders
Concerns aired at the meeting include the bid for the reopening of the theological school in Halki, the rights of religious minorities in Turkey, Ankara’s conversion of Hagia Sofia into a mosque and the Cyprus issue.
“As an Eparchy of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and as a church headquartered right here in New York City, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese hopes and prays for peace and the prosperity of all nations, and in the world,” Archbishop Elpidophoros said in the announcement.
“Our Greek-American community in the United States feels that it is impossible to achieve these goals in the Eastern Mediterranean, as long as the illegal invasion and occupation of Cyprus by Turkey persists, and as long as there are such unreasonable and illegal demands of Greece, by Turkey,” he added.
“We are here, because we know that our good friend, Mayor Adams, holds that justice is the precursor to peace, and we know that his commitment to both is the solid foundation for our ongoing close relationship and warm friendship,” Elpidophros stressed.
Chairman of the Friends of St. Nicholas Dennis Mehiel said that “We talked about the difference between the Turkish-American community in New York City and Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the Turkish government, we had a frank exchange about that and the mayor understands it.”
Speaking to the National Herald he added that in the meeting another issue discussed was that of “the commonality between the African-American and the Greek-American communities in terms of heritage and what we went through, but also the fact that the Abolitionist movement in this country against slavery was substantially impacted by what 20 odd years earlier happened in Europe and in Greece.”