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MEMBERS OF CONGRESS EXTEND REMARKS ON THE INDEPENDENCE DAY OF CYPRUS
2002-10-10 22:47:56

On the Occasion of the 42nd Anniversary of the Independence Day of the Republic of Cyprus a number of Congressmen and Congresswomen spoke in the US House of Representatives congratulating Cyprus for its achievements and its efforts to reunify the island and praising the government for its European Union course, its commitment to principles and its efforts to strengthen the relations between the United States and Cyprus. Below are the remarks of Congressman Frank Pallone(D-NJ),Congressman Robert Andrews (D-NJ), Congresswoman Shelley Berkley ( D-NE), Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney(D-NY), Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA)and Congressman Joseph Crowley (D-NY).

42ND ANNIVERSARY OF THE INDEPENDENCE OF THE REPUBLIC OF CYPRUS
HON. FRANK PALLONE OF NEW JERSEY (Extension of Remarks)
(House of Representatives - October 02, 2002)

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under a previous order of the House, the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Pallone) is recognized for 5 minutes.

Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Speaker, I am proud to come to the House floor today to mark the 42nd anniversary of the independence of the Republican of Cyprus. Despite the tragic events that have taken place during the past 4 decades, the Government of the Republic of Cyprus remains committed to the core principles enshrined in the Cyprus constitution guaranteeing the basic rights and freedoms of the people of Cyprus, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots alike.

Members of this Congress have strongly supported the Republic of Cyprus. Resolutions have been introduced in the House and Senate expressing the sense of Congress that security, reconciliation, and prosperity for all Cypriots can best be achieved within the context of membership in the European Union, which will provide significant rights and obligations for all Cypriots. The legislation has strong support in the House, having been unanimously approved by the Subcommittee on Europe of the House Committee on International Relations. The Senate has also passed this legislation out of their Committee on Foreign Relations unanimously. The House version has 83 bipartisan cosponsors, and the legislation echoes longstanding U.S. policy in support of Cyprus' accession to the European Union.

Mr. Speaker, the commemoration of Cyprus' Independence Day this year, as in the past 28 years, is complicated significantly by the fact that over a third of the island nation's territory continues to be illegally occupied by the Turkish military forces, in violations of U.N. Security Council resolutions. In spite of this, Cyprus remains committed to achieving a resolution of this military problem through peaceful negotiations.

On July 20 of 1974, Turkey invaded Cyprus and to this day continues to maintain 35,000 heavily armed troops in the occupied territory. Nearly 200,000 Greek Cypriots were forcibly evicted from their homes, became refugees in their own country, and fell victim to a policy of ethnic cleansing. 1,493 Greek Cypriots, including four Americans of Cypriot descent, have been missing since 1974.

In 1983, in flagrant violation of international law and the treaties establishing the Republic of Cyprus and guaranteeing its independence and territorial integrity, Ankara promoted a ``unilateral declaration of independence'' in the area under its military occupation. The U.S. Government and the U.N. Security Council condemned the declaration and attempted secession. To date, no other country in the world, except Turkey, recognized the so-called ``Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.''

In 1999, the Security Council reaffirmed that ``a Cyprus settlement must be based on a State of Cyprus with a single sovereignty and international personality and a single citizenship, with its independence and territorial integrity safeguarded and comprising two politically equal communities.'' These parameters have been reiterated by the Security Council on several occasions.

In a landmark decision on May 10 of 2001, the European Court of Human Rights found Turkey responsible for continuing violations of human rights. The court decision emphasized that the Republic of Cyprus is the sole legitimate government of Cyprus, and pointed out Turkey is engaged in the policies and actions of the illegal occupation regime.

In the face of a short, but painful, history of the Republic of Cyprus, there has been remarkable economic growth for those individuals living in the government-controlled areas. Sadly, the people living in the occupied area continue to be mired in poverty as a result of the policies pursued by the Turkish leadership and the occupying power. These issues would be resolved if Turkey would withdraw their illegal occupation and allow the democratic government of the Republic of Cyprus to run its own affairs.

And I hope, Mr. Speaker, that we see that day soon when we see democracy and unity for all of Cyprus.
IN RECOGNITION OF THE 42ND ANNIVERSARY OF THE INDEPENDENCE OF THE REPUBLIC OF CYPRUS --
HON. ROBERT E. ANDREWS (Extensions of Remarks - October 03, 2002)
HON. ROBERT E. ANDREWS OF NEW JERSEY
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Wednesday, October 2, 2002


* Mr. ANDREWS. Mr. Speaker, I rise before you today in recognition of the 42nd anniversary of the independence of the Republic of Cyprus. On October 1, 1960, Cyprus broke free from 80 years of British colonial rule to become its own independent Republic. While the tragic events in this region over the past four decades have overshadowed its progress, the government of the Republic of Cyprus remains committed to the core principles enshrined in the Cyprus Constitution that guarantee basic rights and freedoms to both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.

* This year, Cyprus' Independence Day occurs at a time of great hope and optimism for its people. The economic and political progress that Cyprus has made during its young history has made it a leading candidate for membership in the European Union, and it is expected that a formal invitation to enter the EU will be extended to them at the end of this year. As resolutions have been introduced in both the House and Senate expressing the sense of Congress that security, reconciliation, and prosperity for all Cypriots can be best achieved within the context of membership in the EU, this is certainly a favorable advancement for the prosperous future of Cyprus. Despite the hardships and trauma caused by the ongoing Turkish occupation, Cyprus has registered remarkable economic growth, and the people living in the government-controlled areas enjoy one of the world's highest standards of living. Sadly, however, the citizens who reside within the occupied area continue to be mired in poverty as a result of the policies implemented by the Turkish occupants.

* This year's celebration is also marked by significant advances in U.S.-Cyprus relations. The United States Congress has adopted several resolutions stating that the status quo in Cyprus is unacceptable, and has called for international efforts to resolve the Cyprus occupation on the basis of international law. In return, the government of Cyprus has taken many concrete and active steps to assist the U.S. with the war on terrorism, including blanket clearances for U.S. military aircraft, the sharing of intelligence, the introduction of new criminal laws and regulations to deter and punish terrorism, and endorsement of UN Security Council Resolution 1373 which serves to freeze the assets of terrorists and their supporters. The relationship between Cyprus and the United States is strong and enduring. The people of Cyprus appreciate the leadership that America has shown in trying to end the division of Cyprus and bring about reunification. At the same time, the people of Cyprus stand with the American people and share in their firm resolve to uphold the ideals of freedom, justice, and democracy.

* Mr. Speaker, please join me in congratulating the Republic of Cyprus on the progress they have made during their first 42 years of independence. In addition, let's take this opportunity to recommit the United States Congress to continuing their blossoming relationship with the Cypriot government and working towards a peaceful, agreeable resolution to the Turkish occupation.

THE 42ND ANNIVERSARY OF THE INDEPENDENCE OF THE REPUBLIC OF CYPRUS --
HON. SHELLEY BERKLEY (Extensions of Remarks - October 04, 2002)
HON. SHELLEY BERKLEY OF NEVADA
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Thursday, October 3, 2002


* Ms. BERKLEY. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to observe the 42nd anniversary of the Republic of Cyprus. Despite the political tensions between the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots that have taken place since its independence in 1960, the Government of the Republic of Cyprus remains committed to the core values enshrined in the Cyprus Constitution guaranteeing basic rights and freedoms for all its citizens. This year, Independence Day comes at a time of great hope for the people of Cyprus. In particular, we have made significant advances in U.S.-Cyprus relations, and Cyprus is a leading candidate for European Union membership during the EU's next enlargement round. Both chambers of Congress have passed resolutions expressing the Sense of Congress that security, reconciliation, and prosperity for all Cypriots can best be achieved through EU membership. However, Cyprus' Independence Day is also clouded by territorial disputes with Turkey. Despite Turkish violations of UN Security Council resolutions, Cyprus remains committed to achieving a peaceful resolution through UN-sponsored negotiations. Immediately after the September 11th terrorist attacks, Cyprus was among the first nations to express its solidarity with the U.S. Cyprus has taken many concrete and active steps to target the perpetrators, collaborators, and financiers of terrorism--and the relationship between Cyprus and the U.S. is strong and enduring. Mr. Speaker, I want to congratulate the Republic of Cyprus on this 42nd anniversary of its independence.

ANNIVERSARY OF THE INDEPENDENCE OF THE REPUBLIC OF CYPRUS --
HON. CAROLYN B. MALONEY (Extensions of Remarks - October 04, 2002)
HON. CAROLYN B. MALONEY OF NEW YORK
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Thursday, October 3, 2002


* Mrs. MALONEY of New York. Mr. Speaker, it is with great pleasure that I speak today in honor of the 42nd Anniversary of the Republic of Cyprus. It was on October 1st in 1960, that Cyprus became an independent republic after decades of British colonial rule.

* I am very fortunate and privileged to represent Astoria, Queens--one of the largest and most vibrant communities of Greek and Cypriot Americans in this country.

* It is truly one of my greatest pleasures as a Member of Congress to be able to participate in the life of this community, and the wonderful and vital Cypriot friends that I have come to know are one of its greatest rewards.

* This year, Cyprus' Independence Day occurs at a time of great hope for the people of Cyprus and significant advances in U.S.-Cyprus relations.

* Cyprus is currently the leading candidate country for membership in the European Union during the EU's next enlargement round. On October 9, the European Commission will issue its annual progress reports on all applicant countries. The EU's enlargement Commissioner, Gunther Verheugen, said on September 30 that Cyprus' progress report will be positive and will confirm that Cyprus meets the political and economic criteria for membership. The formal invitation to the 10 most advanced candidate countries, including Cyprus, is expected to be issued in December in Copenhagen, which would allow them to join the EU on January 1st, 2004.

* On June 21, 2001, I joined my colleague, Representative MICHAEL BILIRAKIS in introducing HCONRES 164, a bill that expresses the sense of Congress that security, reconciliation, and prosperity for all Cypriots can be best achieved within the context of membership in the European Union which will provide significant rights and obligations for all Cypriots. This bill has 83 bipartisan cosponsors and passed unanimously in the Europe Subcommittee of the House International Relations Committee. I believe we must pass this bill on the House floor in order to voice support during a crucial period of major developments for Cyprus' EU bid.

* The commemoration of Cyprus' Independence Day this year, as in the past 28 years, is clouded by the fact that 37 percent of the Mediterranean island nation's territory continues to be illegally occupied by the Turkish military forces, in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions. But Cyprus remains committed to achieving a peaceful resolution of this tragic problem through negotiations.

* United Nations-sponsored negotiations are ongoing in an effort to resolve the 28-year division of Cyprus under the framework of U.N. Security Council resolutions. The next round of meetings between the President of the Republic of Cyprus, Glafcos Clerides, and the Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash, with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, are scheduled for October 3-4 in New York. U.N. Secretary General Annan said on September 30 that talks to end the division of Cyprus will continue even after the December 12 decision by the European Union, to accept Cyprus as a member. Mr. Annan stressed ``we are going to continue our efforts and try to make progress as quickly as we can. If by the time of the accession the issues have not been resolved, I expect the talks to continue beyond the EU accession''. The EU has made it clear for the past three years that a resolution of the Cyprus problem is not a precondition for Cyprus' EU accession and I support that viewpoint.

* Cyprus and the United States have a great deal in common. We share a deep and abiding commitment to democracy, human rights, free markets, and the ideal and practice of equal justice under the law.

* In fact, Cyprus was among the first nations to express its solidarity with the U.S. immediately following the September 11th terrorist attacks. Cyprus has taken many concrete and active steps to target the perpetrators, collaborators and financers of terrorism. For example, Cyprus has endorsed and implemented all resolutions and decisions of the U.N. Security Council, the EU and other International Organizations pertaining to the fight against terrorism.

* Unfortunately, Cyprus is not without its own difficult history. 37 percent of this nation is still occupied by a hostile foreign power, and it has been for more than 25 years.

* On July 20, 1974, Turkey invaded Cyprus, and to this day continues to maintain an estimated 35,000 heavily armed troops. Nearly 200,000 Greek Cypriots, who fell victim to a policy of ethnic cleansing, were forcibly evicted from their homes and became refugees in their own country.

* Every year, on or around July 20, I, along with my dear friend Representative BILIRAKIS, sponsor a Special Order to remember the anniversary of the Turkish invasion in a tradition that has become one of our proudest traditions.

* Despite the hardships and trauma caused by the ongoing Turkish occupation, Cyprus has registered remarkable economic growth, and the people living in the Government-controlled areas enjoy one of the world's highest standards of living. Sadly, the people living in the occupied area continue to be mired in poverty.

* In the times we are facing, it is clear that divisions among people create harmful, destructive environments. The U.S. has expressed its unwavering support for a peaceful solution to the Cyprus problem and I wholeheartedly agree. The relationship between Cyprus and the United States is strong and enduring. We stand together celebrating democracy and freedom, hopeful that a peaceful solution will soon be negotiated and a united Cyprus will join the EU.

COMMEMORATING THE 42D ANNIVERSARY OF THE INDEPENDENCE OF THE REPUBLIC OF CYPRUS --
HON. BRAD SHERMAN (Extensions of Remarks - October 07, 2002)
HON. BRAD SHERMAN OF CALIFORNIA
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Monday, October 7, 2002


* Mr. SHERMAN. Mr. Speaker, last week, we commemorated the 42d anniversary of the Independence of the Republic of Cyprus. In 1960, Cyrus claimed sovereignty over its territory following 80 years of British colonial rule, and since that time, it has been a close friend of the United States.

* Cyprus now stands as the leading candidate country for membership in the European Union (EU). On September 30th 2002, the EU's Enlargement Commissioner stated that Cyprus complies with all political and economic conditions required for membership. The Government-controlled areas of Cyprus enjoy an atmosphere of economic prosperity and political freedom, allowing its people to enjoy one of the highest standards of living in the world.

* Unfortunately, the northern portions of the island have been occupied by Turkish troops for more than 28 years, and an illegitimate government was set up there to rule an illegitimate state that only Turkey has recognized. As many as 35,000 Turkish troops remain to keep this government viable.

* The United States must maintain pressure on the Turkish side to end its illegal occupation of Cyprus and allow the people of that island to resolve the problem without outside interference. Too often, Turkey seeks to use its occupation as a veto over the legitimate aspirations of the Cyprus government, including its bid to join the EU.

* EU accession will have immeasurable benefits for the people of Cyprus, both Greek and Turkish, and will serve as a catalyst for peaceful resolution of the conflict. Unfortunately, not everyone believes that the accession of Cyprus to the EU is a good idea. In fact, Turkey and its illegitimate child, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, have opposed Cyprus' membership in the EU on the grounds that this would allow Cyprus in turn to veto Turkey's EU membership bid. It is my belief that the reunification of Cyprus would serve the interests of all parties. The EU has rightfully stated that a resolution to the division of Cyprus is by no means a precondition to its accession to the EU, and I am proud that the United States has taken the same position.

* Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to commemorate the 42d anniversary of the Independence of Cyprus and to work for the peaceful resolution of the division of the island and its successful accession to the EU.

FORTY-SECOND ANNIVERSARY OF THE INDEPENDENCE OF THE REPUBLIC OF CYPRUS --
HON. JOSEPH CROWLEY (Extensions of Remarks - October 08, 2002)

HON. JOSEPH CROWLEY OF NEW YORK
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Tuesday, October 8, 2002


* Mr. CROWLEY. Mr. Speaker, October 1, 2002, marked the 42nd anniversary of the Independence of the Republic of Cyprus. The anniversary of Cyprus' independence is a day of mixed emotions. While Cypriots celebrate the lifting of 80 years of British colonial rule, 37 percent of the island's territory remains under occupation. Since Turkish troops invaded in 1974, seizing 37 percent of the island, Turkey has expelled 200,000 Greek Cypriots, moved 80,000 settlers from the Turkish mainland into their homes in an attempt to change the demographics of the area and restricted the rights of the few Greek Cypriots who remained in the north. Turkey's actions have been condemned by the United Nations Security Council and the European Commission of Human Rights as flagrant violations of international law.

* Delays in negotiating a settlement only prolongs the suffering of the thousands of Cypriots on both sides who have lost their homes and are separated from their communities. The conflict has wasted political, economic, and military resources that could have gone toward economic and commercial development and increased the standard of living of inhabitants of both peoples.

* Yet despite the division of the territory, the internationally-recognized government in Cyprus has made extraordinary strides toward political and economic development. And while the Turkish Cypriot leadership stalls and avoids serious negotiations, the Government of Cyprus stands to benefit greatly from membership in the European Union. Cyprus is one of only two countries that have applied for European Union membership that met all of the EU's membership criteria--all 80 thousand pages of rules and regulations. Cyprus's admission to the EU would be a boon to the island's economy, and it would add greatly to stability in the region. Neither Turkey nor the Turkish Cypriot leadership should be permitted to derail this process through political or economic blackmail.

* The European Union has asserted that Cyprus's accession to the EU, expected in 2004, will proceed whether or not a settlement is reached on the island's division. Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash should recognize that Turkish Cypriots would benefit greatly from a combination of national unification and EU accession, which would bring foreign investment, access to markets and jobs throughout Europe, and additional development assistance to northern Cyprus. The unification of Cyprus into a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation--as called for by United Nations Security Council resolutions--is the only solution that can guarantee economic development and equal political representation for all inhabitants of the island.

* The Government of Cyprus has long been a close partner of the United States, and it has proven the strength of these ties by providing its support in our fight against global terrorism.

* Immediately after the September 11 terrorist attacks, Cyprus was among the first nations to express its solidarity with the United States. Cyprus has granted blanket clearance for U.S. military aircraft to fly over Cyprus and to use its airports, and is sharing intelligence with and providing legal assistance to various U.S. agencies.

* Cyprus has also introduced tough new criminal laws and regulations to deter and punish terrorists and their supporters, taken measures to freeze the assets of terrorists and increased security measures at seaports and airports and at the U.S. Embassy in the capital of Nicosia.

* Cyprus has also endorsed and implemented U.N. Security Council Resolution 1373 (2001) to freeze the assets of terrorists and their supporters; implemented all other relevant resolutions and decisions of the U.N. Security Council, the EU and other international organizations; and ratified the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism.

* And most recently, on September 18, the United States and Cyprus signed a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty that will promote closer coordination between the two countries in the fight against global terrorism, organized crime, drug-trafficking and related violent crimes.

* As an active member of both the Congressional Hellenic Issues Caucus and the Europe Subcommittee of the House International Relations Committee, I have supported a number of legislative initiatives to resolve the Cyprus dispute and promote the accession of the government of Cyprus to the European Union.

* I joined my congressional colleagues in writing to President Bush to urge that the United States help move the U.N.-led proximity talks toward resolution of the conflict.

* I strongly support the accession of Cyprus to the European Union, whether or not a solution to the island's division has been reached beforehand. I have cosponsored legislation calling on the U.S. Government to support EU accession, and I have written to President Bush too on this matter as well.

* I have co-sponsored legislation introduced in the House to end restrictions on the freedoms and human rights of the Greek Cypriot enclaves in northern Cyprus. I personally tried to visit the enclaves during a recent trip to Cyprus so I could see for myself the condition of the Greek Cypriots living there, but I was prevented from doing so by the Turkish Cypriot leadership.

* I support the Administration's allocation of $15 million each year to promote measures aimed at reunification of the island and designed to reduce tensions and promote peace and cooperation between the two communities in Cyprus.

* I believe it is critical that the Turkish Cypriot side provide information on the five American citizens of Greek Cypriot descent who have been missing since 1974. As a purely humanitarian matter, the Turkish side must make progress on this issue.

* As our global village becomes increasingly interdependent, societies around the world are adopting democracy, free trade, and respect for human rights. The Government of Cyprus has embraced these concepts, becoming a responsible actor on the international stage, and its people have benefited greatly from its leadership. I sincerely hope that the Turkish Cypriot leadership decides to make the compromises necessary to end the division of Cyprus so that the entire island can enjoy the fruits of globalization.

* Until that time comes, I congratulate the people of Cyprus on the 42nd anniversary of their independence.

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