“The Order of AHEPA understands the importance of fostering communication, the sharing of ideas, and the encouragement of dialogue and free thought on all issues for the betterment of the community. These beliefs were born in the Order’s noble and unique founding and are prevalent in its fraternal character and soul.
“It was in this spirit that the Order afforded Mr. Panos Ioannides, who is not a member of AHEPA, the courtesy of addressing the AHEPA Cyprus and Hellenic Affairs Committee on July 15, 2010, during the 88th Supreme Convention in Montreal. There, Mr. Ioannides, the self-proclaimed “President of the Movement for Freedom & Justice in Cyprus,” presented his paper titled “The Proposal of the Correct YES” and other supporting materials, including a book he authored about the Cyprus issue. Mr. Ioannides was treated with courtesy and respect at all times during the convention. Furthermore, Mr. Ioannides had his presentation filmed although he did not have the courtesy of seeking formal approval from the leadership of the Order of AHEPA. A representative from the Cyprus Action Network of America, Mr. Nikolaos Taneris, who is also not a member of AHEPA, accompanied him and was the cameraman.
“CANA issued an email communication on July 28, 2010 that states ‘The Committee’s reaction and consensus was one of enthusiastic acceptance of the substance of the presentation and the Proposal.’ This is false. For the record, the official report of the Cyprus & Hellenic Affairs Committee states: ‘[In addition, the Committee:] was briefed by Panos Ioannides, Ph.D., on behalf of the Movement for Freedom & Justice in Cyprus.’ Also, the Committee included Mr. Ioannides’ presentation as an appendix to its report for the public record.
“Mr. Ioannides’ position on a solution to the Cyprus issue was not accepted by the AHEPA Cyprus and Hellenic Affairs Committee. It was not accepted by the Order of AHEPA. AHEPA’s position on the Cyprus issue is presented in our statement issued July 20, 2010. AHEPA’s position for the past 36 years of Turkey’s illegal invasion and occupation of 37 percent of the Republic of Cyprus has continually been based on the rule of law and countless U.N. resolutions. Although as Ahepans we pride ourselves on our Hellenic heritage, it is our American heritage and ideals on which we have based our position.
“Organizations have a right to express disagreement in respectful ways. However, CANA’s erroneous statement that included Mr. Ioannides’ inflammatory remarks, and the unprofessional manner with which they conveyed it, diminishes their credibility in the eyes of the Order of AHEPA. Nothing is gained by issuing such statements that include personal attacks and the distortion of facts. As such, the Order of AHEPA must now distance itself from CANA and Mr. Ioannides because I see no rational discussion or constructive dialogue that can ensue; certainly none that resonate with the spirit of our Order.
“Finally, it is clearly evident that Mr. Ioannides and CANA do not understand the Order’s founding, its mission, or its storied history and role in society.”