Bills in US Congress call on Turkey to end its occupation of Cyprus
Two new bills recently submitted to the US House of Representatives urge Turkey to cease its occupation of Cyprus.
House Resolution 620 calls on Turkey to “end its military occupation, particularly because Turkey’s pretext has been refuted by over 13 million crossings by Turkish-Cypriots and Greek-Cypriots into each other’s communities without incident.”
House Resolution 627 asks Congress to "support the removal of Turkish occupation troops from the Republic of Cyprus."
This legislation carries particular weight with American policy-makers because its primary sponsors, Congressmen Albio Sires (D-NJ) and Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), are among only 14 out of the 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives selected by their colleagues to oversee matters relating to Europe - as members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on Europe. Representatives Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), John Sarbanes (D-MD) and Zack Space (D-OH) are also original co-sponsors.
The bills add to momentum that is building in the U.S. to end Turkey’s occupation of Cyprus, particularly after 13 million peaceful crossings of the Green Line and also builds on the recent statement by the Chairman of the powerful U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Joe Biden (D-DE), who encouraged America to refocus on this matter that is at the heart of the Cyprus problem.
Furthermore, they also enhance the impetus generated by the recent letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice by the creator of the Congressional Turkey Caucus and Chairman of the House Europe Subcommittee, Congressman Robert Wexler (D-FL), the statement notes. "Chairman Wexler felt that it is in Turkey’s interests to focus on withdrawing troops", it says.
Click below to read the two submitted bills:
House Resolution 620
House Resolution 627