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07 December, 2000
A Greek-American leader on Wednesday emphasized here that Washington's stance towards Greece, the Cyprus issue and Greek-Turkish difference will most remain the same with either a Bush or Gore administration come January.
Eugene Rossides, the founder of the Washington-based lobbying group American Hellenic Institute (AHI) and former high-ranking US treasury department official, nevertheless broadly outlined the policy he anticipates that either of the two possible US administrations will follow vis-a-vis Greece and the Cyprus issue.
Interestingly enough, Rossides predicted "no substantial change in a very cautious foreign policy" followed by a George W. Bush administration.
He spoke at an event organized by the Athens-based Panteion University's Institute for Foreign Affairs on the issue of "Repercussions from the Latest US Elections on Relations between Athens and Washington."
"The only possible change in a Bush administration would be that it may not pressure the Greek Cypriots," he stressed.
Conversely, the veteran Greek-American attorney, one of the protagonists who pushed for the US arms embargo against Turkey in the mid-70s, said Al Gore's foreign policy team will probably not change the Clinton administration's "pro-Turkish tilt" on the Cyprus issue, as he called it.
Rossides projected that more pressure will directed only at the Greek Cypriot side if the US vice-president succeeds in finally winning the presidential election. He also chided the current Clinton-Gore administration for not taking a stand in favor of international legality in relation to Ankara's various claims in the Aegean.
His picks for possible secretaries of state: Colin Powell or Condoleezza Rice for the Republicans, and Richard Holbrooke or maybe even Leon Furth for the Democrats.
As far as the current US ambassador to Athens is concerned, the former Nixon administration treasury official had nothing but praise.
"Nicholas Burns highlighted Greece's role in the region ... Despite some disagreements I may have with him, overall, he has done a magnificent job in my opinion," Rossides said, adding that public opinion in the United States now views Greece and Cyprus as "prosperous democracies" in an often turbulent region.
Finally, in describing the political mood in the United States four weeks after the election cliffhanger continues to linger, Rossides said people in the US "are less concerned than several other countries.
"The US election was not about a clash of principles and ideology. American society is not polarized. Differences exist, of course, but they are not as wide as, say, between European conservatives and socialists."
Source: Athens News Agency