AHI President sends letter to US Congressman about illegal visit
Nicosia, May 27 (CNA) -- Forthcoming visit of US congressmen to the Turkish-occupied areas of Cyprus through an illegal port of entry constitutes a violation of US and international law and does not contribute to the efforts to reach a settlement and reunify the island.
This was said by American Hellenic Institute (AHI) President Gene Rossides in a letter to US Congressman Ed Whitfield, who is to head a US delegation aiming to pay an illegal visit to occupied Cyprus through the "Ercan" illegal airport.
In his letter Rossides notes that such a visit would lend endorsement of the illegal occupation and violation of human rights by Turkey in Cyprus and serve to exacerbate the problem on the island.
''The AHI, on behalf of its nationwide membership, is extremely disappointed in your decision to travel to the illegally occupied part of Cyprus via the illegal airport. Such an act violates the US and international law and does not serve the best interests of the United States in support of a proper solution to the reunification of Cyprus'', the letter says.
He adds that the trip would have an adverse effect against the legitimate government of Cyprus and the message would be sent that certain Members of Congress do not support a resolution of the Cyprus problem that is consistent with UN resolutions and the rule of law.
Rossides notes that AHI strongly supports congressional visits to Cyprus, including the occupied area of Cyprus in the north, if they are done in a manner consistent with international law and US law.
He also refers to a forthcoming visit of nine Congressmen to Cyprus who will arrive to the legal airport of Larnaca.
In the letter Rossides explains the historical and political background in Cyprus and emphasizes on the self-proclaimed state in Turkish occupied north of Cyprus.
''If the visit takes place through the illegal port, it places those Members in a position of aiding and abetting the violation of the laws of the Republic of Cyprus, a friendly nation who has helped the US substantially on many important occasions'', he concludes.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of its territory.