NEW YORK. United States Secretary of Energy Dr Ernest Moniz has been awarded the Cyprus-US Distinguished Merit Award during the Cyprus – US Chamber of Commerce 10th annual Awards Dinner, held on Thursday in New York.
Moniz is one of the founding members of the Cyprus Institute. He helped to set up and conceptualize the Institute and contributed towards a collaboration agreement between the Institute and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He also headed a joint research endeavour on the strategic choices available in relation to the hydrocarbons’ reserves in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
Cyprus awarded Moniz in 2008 the Grand Cross of the Order of Makarios III for his contribution to research, technology and education. Speaking during the event, Moniz referred to the Cyprus Institute and to the efforts made to set up a Research Institute of global influence that will address scientifically issues of great important related to Cyprus and the broader region.
He also referred to energy issues, and cited a comment by Turkish President Abdullah Gul who described energy reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean as the basis for more understanding and cooperation.
“Let’s hope that these funds will help to the solution of the problems of the region,” he noted. He thanked the Chamber for this honorary distinction and said that despite the fact that the two countries have different sizes, both Cyprus and the US share the same democratic traditions. He expressed hope that the relations between the two countries will be further strengthened.
Chairman of the Chamber Nick Karacostas said it was an honour for the organization that the US Secretary of Energy attended the event, during such an important period for the region
He said that the Chamber honours him for his contribution to the strengthening of relations between Cyprus and the US.
In a message read by Cyprus’ Consulate General in New York Koula Sofianou, Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades said Moniz was an old friend of Cyprus and referred to the role of the establishment of the Cyprus Institute and to its cooperation with the MIT, on the issues of Cyprus’ strategic choices, in relation to hydrocarbons reserves in its Exclusive Economic Zone. “This region is particularly important, given the discovery of natural gas reserves in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone, which also promotes the development of future prospects for the island’s economy,” he said. Furthermore, he noted that setting up a network of projects for the transfer of natural in the Eastern Mediterranean will reinforce the regional energy security and cooperation and will attract foreign investments, offering an important impetus, not only in Cyprus but also in the countries of the whole region.
He also congratulated the Chamber on its contribution to developing relations between Cyprus and the US and its role in efforts of the Greek American community for a just, viable and mutually accepted arrangement of the Cyprus problem, on the basis of relevant UN Security Council resolutions and in line with the UN Charter and principles on which the EU was funded.
In an address read out at the event, Archbishop of America Demetrios urged the Chamber to continue to encourage ventures which facilitate cooperation and create opportunities for investment, expressing hope that these efforts will serve as a catalyst in promoting a peaceful settlement of the Cyprus problem.
In his address Greek Consulate General in New York George Eliopoulos said that the natural gas reserves discovered recently in Israel and Cyprus, as well as those which according to indications exist in the Greek sea, offer not only important potential for cooperation and economic development for these countries but they also ensure their energy independence and create a tangible prospect for multi-collective energy resources for Europe.
He said it was important that this tripartite cooperation between Israel, Cyprus and Greece contributes and enhances security and prosperity for the whole region.
FOX Business Network’s anchorwoman Nicole Petallides was the dinner’s MC.
The Chamber’s executive director, Despina Axiotakis, thanked the supporter’s of the event, mentioning especially the board members Nicos Mouyiaris and Nicos Nicolaou, for covering the tickets for all the members of the Cypriot American young professional’s network
(Article by: Apostolos Zoupaniotis)