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WASHINGTON, D.C., Oct. 3, 2008 Over 35 of the most influential legislative assistants in the United States Congress that handle U.S. policy toward Greece and the region were briefed this week by Ambassador of Greece to the United States, Alexandros Mallias. During a 90 minute roundtable discussion on October 2, Ambassador Mallias led a very detailed discussion of many of the issues of importance to Greece including: the FYROMs name issue, the Cyprus issue, the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Greeces inclusion in the Visa Waiver Program, and Greeces leadership in the Balkans, among others. The participation of this unusually high number of those charged by the U.S. Congress with the responsibility of developing policy for the key Committees and Subcommittees, is very helpful to Americas understanding of Greeces important role in that region and the issues Greece faces there, said Andy Manatos, President of the National Coordinated Effort of Hellenes (CEH). This presentation by Ambassador Mallias, the fifth in a series of such briefings, was attended by: the Staff Directors of both the Senate European Affairs Subcommittee and the House Europe Subcommittee, Tomicah Tillemann, representing Senator Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Joe Biden (D-DE), and Jonathan Katz, representing House Europe Subcommittee Chairman Robert Wexler (D-FL), respectively; the Minority Staff Director of the House Europe Subcommittee, Richard Mereu, representing the House Europe Subcommittee Ranking Member Elton Gallegly (R-CA); the minority staff director of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Yleem Poblete, along with Mark Gage and Sarah Preisser, representing the House Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL); representing the House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Howard Berman (D-CA) was Alan Makovsky; also from the House Foreign Affairs Committee were: Ben Goldsmith, representing Europe Subcommittee Member, Hellenic Caucus Co-Chair and Greek-American Congressman Gus Bilirakis (D-FL), Noelle LuSane, representing Congressman Donald Payne (D-NJ), Shawn Hodjati, representing Congressman Joe Crowley (D-NY), Lindsay Mosshart, representing Congressman Gene Green (D-TX), and Jesper Pendersen, of the House Europe Subcommittee. From the office of the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Dr. Kay King, who introduced the Ambassador and is the Director of the Office of Interparliamentary Affairs, and Tom Manatos participated. From the House Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee, Katie Novaria, representing Congressman Joe Knollenberg (R-MI) and Charles Dujon, representing Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL) participated. Greek-American Congressman John Sarbanes (D-MD and Zack Space (D-OH) were represented by Jonathan Davidson along with Andreas Akaras, and Jillian Carroll along with Alex Labua, respectively. Hellenic Caucus CoChair Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), was represented by Jennifer Keaton.

From the U.S. Senate, Mark Lopes, representing Senate European Affairs Subcommittee Member Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Dylan Williams, representing Greek-American Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME), and Will Wagner, representing Senate Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee Member Arlen Specter (R-PA), participated. Other key Members of Congress active on Hellenic issues whose legislative assistants participated in this working luncheon included: Representatives Tim Bishop (D-NY), Mario DiazBalart (R-FL), Luis Fortuno (R-PR), Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Paul Hodes (D-NH), Patrick Kennedy (D-RI), Doris Matsui (D-CA), Mike McIntyre (D-NC), Loretta Sanchez (D-CA), and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL).
Andrew A. Athens, Chairman, National Coordinated Effort of Hellenes (CEH); National Chairman, United Hellenic American Congress (UHAC), Honorary President, World Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE) Philip Christopher, Vice Chair, National Coordinated Effort of Hellenes (CEH); President, International Coordinating Committee--Justice for Cyprus (PSEKA); President, Pancyprian Association of America Andrew E. Manatos, President, National Coordinated Effort of Hellenes (CEH); Executive Board Member, UHAC and PSEKA Panikos Papanicolaou, Supreme President, Cyprus Federation of America Nikos Mouyiaris, Executive Vice President, Pancyprian Association of America George Tsunis, Chairman/CEO Chartwell Hotels Tasos Zambas, Alternate President, PSEKA Endy Zemenides, President, Hellenic American Leadership Council Dr. Nicolaos Alexopoulos, President, American Hellenic Council of California Zenon Christodoulou, President. Greek-American Chamber of Commerce George Dovellos, Board of Directors, United Hellenic American Congress (UHAC)