Members of US Congress question US policy towards Cyprus
Washington, Dec 14 (CNA) – US members of Congress, in letters to Secretary of State Colin Powell and Homeland Security Tom Ridge, requested an explanation of the visit of Transportation Security Administration officials to the Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus, as well as a reaffirmation of the US existing policy towards Cyprus.
In their letter, they express concern that flights into airports in the occupied region ''may be in violation of international law” noting that these actions “appear to signal a shift in US policy towards Cyprus”.
They underline that all nations other than Turkey recognise the Republic of Cyprus “as the only legitimate and sovereign authority on the island”, therefore “any steps that legitimize the TRNC are in contravention of UN Security Council resolutions and US law”.
Furthermore, they stress that the airspace in the occupied area is still the sovereign airspace of the Republic of Cyprus and flights into airports in the occupied areas “would therefore be inconsistent with the international aviation standards put forth by the International Civil Aviation Organization”.
The members of Congress emphasise that the members of the TSA who visited the north were accompanied by members of the so called government which the US does not recognise and the visit took place without the consent of the Republic of Cyprus, stressing that these two actions “are extremely troubling, as they imply a de facto recognition of the TRNC that is a direct contradiction of the stated policy of the US and is detrimental to our goal of a unified Cyprus”.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied the island’s northern third.