Greece, Cyprus and Egypt signed a cooperation protocol back in 2017 that aims to bring Cypriots and Greeks who used to live in Alexandria back to the city under the auspices of the ‘Nostos- Return to the roots’ project.
The project is an initiative of Egyptian Minister of Immigration and Expatriates Affairs Nabila Makram, who visited Cyprus, along with Greek Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Terence Quick for consultations with Cyprus’ Presidential Commissioner for humanitarian affairs Photis Photiou, as part of the tripartite cooperation of the three countries on diaspora issues.
The programme is running its third phase at the moment, ‘Nostos 3’ and as part of its aim to establish a common strategy and joint actions in different Greek diaspora centres, the next ‘Nostos’ forum will take place in Melbourne on 25-26 March 2019.
Melbourne, and specifically the Greek Community Centre, will host the successful programme, connecting Greek Cypriots and Greeks as well as their descendants in Alexandria and Melbourne.
“We are delighted that the governments of Greece, Cyprus and Egypt have chosen our city and our Community to hold this very significant forum,” President of the Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne and Victoria Bill Papastergiadis told Neos Kosmos. “This is a great honour for us, as well as our participation in the project that will also aim at attracting foreign investors to these three Mediterranean countries; highlighting how Australia has benefited from the presence of Greeks, Cypriots and Egyptiots for many decades; and focus on specific issues that these three communities in Australia face in terms of connecting with their motherlands.”
Moreover, Mr Quick thanked the Australian diaspora communities in advance for the interest they have shown in the ‘Nostos’ programme stressing that this is only the beginning. The deputy minister also thanked Mr Papastergiadis for his hospitality and shared his excitement that the forum will take place in “the Home of the Greeks” in Melbourne, “where Hellenism will once again have a chance to demonstrate what it can offer to the countries where it resides, like in Egypt and Australia”.
The three officials also announced that they will attend the march for Greek Independence Day on 24 March in Adelaide and then celebrate in a joint Melbourne feast for Greece and Cyprus on the actual day (25 March).