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MORE US CONGRESSMEN SPEAK ON CYPRUS
2003-04-14 11:33:46

Three more US Congressmen issued statements regarding the adoption of the House Resolution 165, which was adopted on April 11 by the US House of representatives by 422 votes in favor, none against. The US Congressmen are Representatives Adam B. Schiff (D-CA), Gregory W. Meeks (D-NY) and Christopher H. Smith (R-NJ.
You may read the statements below:

CONGRESSIONAL RECORD- EXTENSION OF REMARKS
April 12, 2003

EXPRESSING SUPPORT FOR RENEWED EFFORT TO FIND PEACEFUL, JUST, AND LASTING SETTLEMENT TO THE CYPRUS PROBLEM
SPEECH OF
HON. ADAM B. SCHIFF (D-CA) OF CALIFORNIA
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Wednesday, April 9, 2003

Mr. SCHIFF. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to join my colleagues in expressing my support for renewed efforts to find a peaceful, just, and lasting settlement to the Cyprus problem. Such a resolution is consonant with American values of promoting stability, freedom, and democracy around the globe.

I strongly support a unified Cyprus. I am disappointed that the recent historic opportunity to resolve the Cyprus issue has failed, despite the hard work of United Nations Secretary Kofi Annan over the last several years, to bring the parties together and to facilitate an agreement.

I am disturbed that today, some 35,000 Turkish soldiers, armed with the latest weapons, are still stationed in the occupied area of Cyprus, making it, according to the United Nations Secretary-General, one of the most militarized regions in the world. At an estimated cost of $300 million annually, Turkey continues to defy the international community and the U.N. resolutions with its policies towards Cyprus. Eighty-five thousand Turks have been brought over from Turkey to colonize the occupied area with the aim of changing the demography of the island and controlling the political situation. The Greek Cypriot community that remains enclaved within the occupied villages continues to live under conditions of oppression, harassment, and deprivation.

Mr. Speaker, the United States has a national interest in fostering peace and stability in the eastern Mediterranean region. We as a Nation cannot continue to pretend our NATO partner is not in clear violation of international law for its continued illegal occupation of its neighbor.

We in the United States pride ourselves for our respect for fundamental freedoms. Human rights norms are the cornerstone of U.S. foreign policy. It is time, Mr. Speaker, for Turkey to end its longstanding occupation of Cyprus.

Despite recent setbacks, I am still optimistic that the Cyprus situation can be peacefully and amicably resolved.


CONGRESSIONAL RECORD EXTENSION OF REMARKS
April 11, 2003
EXPRESSING SUPPORT FOR RENEWED EFFORT TO FIND PEACEFUL, JUST, AND LASTING SETTLEMENT TO THE CYPRUS PROBLEM
SPEECH OF
HON. GREGORY W. MEEKS (D-NY) OF NEW YORK
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Wednesday, April 9, 2003

Mr. MEEKS of New York. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of House Resolution 165.

I want to thank my good friend DOUG BEREUTER, Chairman of the Sub-Committee on Europe for his leadership on keeping the issue of Cyprus on the table.

With so much focus on Iraq, it would be easy to forget about other true multilateral efforts to support peace and stability in the world.

Mr. Speaker, some may wonder why the issue of peacefully re-uniting Cyprus (a nation divided for nearly 30 years) is important for Americans and for the world?

For many Greek and Turkish-Americans this international issue is deeply personal because it directly affects loved ones.

In spite of the recent setback, Cyprus does represent one of the better examples of how America and Europe, working in cooperation, can help resolve international disputes.

While we share the disappointment that the United Nations-led effort to craft a comprehensive settlement for Cyprus was not successful, it does not change the fact, that the effort itself represents a shining example of how important and relevant the United Nations truly is to pursuing peace and stability in the world.

Mr. Speaker, for smaller nations in the world, which don?t have strategically important resources, and live next to more powerful states, who have even more powerful allies, the United Nations and international law represents one of their only shields of defense, one of their best pillars of stability, and a means by which their voice is heard in the international community.

House Resolution 165 allows this Congress to say to Americans, the citizens of Cyprus, and the people of the world that we stand with all those who wish for a re-united Cyprus that is prosperous, democratic and stable; and that global cooperation remains the best path for peacefully making that wish come true.


CONGRESSIONAL RECORD EXTENSION OF REMARKS PAGE E761 April 11, 2003

EXPRESSING SUPPORT FOR RENEWED EFFORT TO FIND PEACEFUL, JUST, AND LASTING SETTLEMENT TO CYPRUS PROBLEM
SPEECH OF
HON. CHRISTOPHER H. SMITH (R-NJ) OF NEW JERSEY
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Wednesday, April 9, 2003

Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H. Res. 165, a resolution that calls for the rights of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots to be protected. Most importantly, the resolution urges that steps be taken to resolve the longest unresolved conflict in Europe-the division of Cyprus.

The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, which I co-chair, has held several briefings over the last 18 months on the evolution of a hoped-for solution to the Cyprus impasse. The tone of these briefings varied from optimistic to skeptical. Those concerned about this problem were hopeful when United Nations Secretary General Koffi Annan put forth a proposed plan last November.

After further discussions, Mr. Annan adapted the plan to encompass the concerns voiced by both sides of the conflict. Unfortunately, Mr. Rauf Denktash, leader of the Turkish Cypriots, failed to accept either the comprehensive settlement or the proposed referendum advanced by the Secretary General. Denktash?s inability to find common ground with his fellow Cypriots from the Greek side keeps Cyprus divided.

H. Res. 165 calls for the most logical resolution of the problem-let the people of Cyprus, whether they be Greek Cypriots or Turkish Cypriots, determine their own fate at the ballot box. Tens of thousands of Turkish Cypriots have demonstrated their support for this proposal in massive public marches. Many Turkish Cypriots are obtaining Republic of Cyprus passports in an attempt to move this process ahead.

Mr. Denktash must heed the call of these times. The time for a single man to stand in the way of progress for an entire people, for an entire country, is past. I call on you, Mr. Denktash, to allow the referendum to be held now or step aside in the interest of your people and the prospect of reconciliation on the divided island nation of Cyprus

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