Members of Congress call on US administration to discourage citizens from entering Cyprus illegally
Nicosia, Dec 27 - - Sixty-one US Members of Congress called on Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
to ensure that the administration discourages US citizens, US government personnel
and Members of Congress from entering Cyprus illegally. They also call on her to discourage US citizens from participating in Turkey's violation of the Chicago Convention.
In a letter, they also point out that a fundamental requirement for joining the European Union is for Turkey to recognize all member states of the EU, including the Republic of Cyprus.
The letter which was the initiative of Democrat Congressman Jim Costa of California also notes: ''Not only has Turkey failed to recognize Cyprus but it continues to occupy illegally over 37% of the island with a standing force of over 43,000 Turkish troops after invading the country in 1974 and expelling over 180,000 Greek Cypriots''.
Moreover, the Members of Congress express their concerns about two recent events that seemingly undermine stated US policy regarding non-recognition of the ''Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus'', a breakaway regime in occupied Cyprus.
''You recently invited Mr. Mehmet Ali Talat, the recognized leader of the Turkish-Cypriot community, to formally meet with you in Washington, DC. Additionally, we feel that the State Department's support for the travel of US citizens, US government personnel and Members of Congress with direct flights to the Tymbou airport is an additional cause for concern, as it is not a designated legal port of entry'', they stress in the letter.