US Congressmen Support Just Solution to the Cyprus Issue
Nicosia, Nov 30 – Members of the US Congress on a visit to Cyprus expressed the hope for a just solution to the Cyprus problem and the reunification of Cyprus, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion.
Democratic Congressman Albio Sires headed a Congressional delegation which includes Democrat Congressman Dennis Moore and Republican Congressmen John Carter and Phil Gingrey.
The Congressmen were received by President Tassos Papadopoulos but no statements were made after the meeting.
House President Demetris Christofias during his meeting with the congressmen reviewed the Cyprus problem and briefed them on the latest developments.
Mr. Christofias explained to the delegation the reasons which led the Greek Cypriot side reject a UN-proposed solution plan, the Annan plan, on 24 April 2004, stressing that this specific plan and not a Cyprus solution was rejected.
He stressed the Greek Cypriot side remains dedicated to the search for a bizonal, bicommunal federation, on the basis of relevant UN resolutions and in line with European principles.
He pointed out that the so-called isolation of the Turkish Cypriots is the result of the Turkish invasion and continued occupation.
At the same time, Mr. Christofias informed the US congressmen, who were accompanied by US Ambassador in Nicosia Mr. Ronald Schlicher, on the package of measures which the Cypriot government is implementing to support Turkish Cypriots and help improve their standard of living.
He referred to the July 8 Agreement, noting that the fact that it has not been implemented so far is due to the Turkish negative stance. Christofias conveyed the willingness of the Greek Cypriot side to make use of the good offices mission of the UN Secretary-General to overcome the current deadlock in efforts to find a negotiated settlement in Cyprus.
The American diplomats also met the House Foreign Affairs Committee, chaired by Democratic Rally member of the House Mr. Averof Neofitou.
The Cypriot parliamentarians informed the US delegation on the various aspects of the Cyprus problem and expressed their appreciation over resolution 620 of the US Congress, calling on Turkey to withdraw its troops from Cyprus.
They pointed out that the substance of the Cyprus problem lies with the Turkish invasion and the continued occupation of the island’s northern third and stressed the need for a just and viable solution to the Cyprus problem on the basis of European and international law.
During their meeting with Commerce and Tourism Minister Mr. Antonis Michaelides, the US congressmen discussed ways to further promote bilateral cooperation between Cyprus and the US.
Mr. Michaelides referred to the possibilities which Cyprus offers to investors due to its effective and flexible legal system, the recent creation of the Cyprus Company to Promote Investment and the high level of services, making it a competitive regional centre in a wide range of sectors.
The American Congressmen exhibited a strong interest on the application submitted by a company with US interests, for the exploitation of possible hydrocarbon reserves in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone.