Congressman Pallone urges Turkey to change stance on Cyprus
By Apostolis Zoupaniotis --
New York, Nov 1 (CNA) -- Congressman Frank Pallone has described the
present situation with the forthcoming elections in Turkey and the European
Union enlargement process as volatile and expressed hope Turkey's attitude
towards Cyprus will change.
Pallone made this statement Thursday during a fundraiser event in Astoria, New York, organised by the International Coordinating Committee Justice for Cyprus (PSEKA), in support of the New Jersey Democrat's re-election.
PSEKA President Philip Christopher called Pallone ''leader" in efforts on Cyprus in the US Congress and "one of the five congressmen with the best record in issues involving Cyprus''. He urged members of the Greek American community to strongly support Pallone's re-election efforts.|
The US Congressman described the present situation as "volatile", with the upcoming Turkish election and the EU process and expressed hope that Turkey's attitude towards Cyprus will change. He spoke in length about the Turkish elections, and wished that the pro-western European oriented forces in Turkish politics would win.
The US politician described the European accession prospect as the most important development taking place. ''I have to believe", Pallone added, "that as a result the negotiations within the context of the UN hopefully will lead to some sort of settlement for Cyprus. We want a united Cyprus, with a single citizenship and sovereignty''.
In a very critical tone against the US policy vis-a-vis Turkey, Pallone urged the State Department to keep pressing Turkey, both on the Cyprus issue and on the need to make democratic changes in the Turkish society and respect the rule of law.
Answering questions about recent resolutions by the US Congress favouring Turkey, he said that with all the discussion about a war against Iraq, any effort by the Hellenic Caucus would be useless.
The resolution, that needs to get also the green light from the Senate, attaches Turkey to the free trade and economic zones between Israel and the United States.
Pallone was recently honoured by the Cyprus Federation of America with the Justice of Cyprus Award for his contribution to the struggle for a just and viable solution of the Cyprus problem.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied the island's northern third.