US Congressman Gus Bilirakis has said that pressure should be put on Turkey on the matter of its interference with the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the Republic of Cyprus. He was speaking to journalists after a meeting he and another two members of the US Congress Gregory Meeks and Jack Kingston had with House of Representatives President Yiannakis Omirou.
Bilirakis was also received by President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades.
Yiannakis Omirou thanked the three Congressmen for their position and said they agreed to stay in touch since the US as a superpower “can play an extremely important role to restore conditions of security, stability, peace and cooperation in the region in general and as concerns the Cyprus issue to find a solution compatible with UN resolutions and the principles and values of the EU in which Cyprus belongs”.
“No doubt that I am a very strong supporter of the Republic of Cyprus”, Billirakis said in his statements noting that “we will not rest until Cyprus is united”.
On the matter of the EEZ he made it clear that “we stand behind you, united”. There are two other members (of Congress) here, he said, “and they agree that Turkey cannot, it`s illegal to interfere with Cyprus` EEZ”.
He said he had previously asked a question to the State Department whether Cyprus and Israel two sovereign states have a right to this exclusive economic zone without Turkish interference and the reply was “absolutely they do”.
“That is the position of the United States and as individual members of Congress we feel the same way, very – very strongly that we need to continue to put pressure on Turkey”, he pointed out, adding that “personally I think we need to put a little additional pressure on Turkey on this issue”.
In his statements Omirou said their meeting was very constructive and that they discussed developments in the region and the role Cyprus plays as a country of stability, security and cooperation which seeks to create conditions of peace in the region in general. He also said that they discussed the need to put an end to sources of tension among others in Syria and Iraq.
The Cypriot President of the House of Representatives continued to say that he briefed his American colleagues of the role the Republic of Cyprus plays in context of the international effort to deal with the phenomenon of terrorism in the region.
He also said that he briefed them on Turkey`s continuous provocations which reached a peak with its interference in Cyprus` EEZ and the expression on its part of overt threats aiming to prevent the Republic of Cyprus to exercise its sovereign right to exploit its natural resources.
Omirou noted that they discussed developments in the Cyprus reunification process including the decision to suspend participation of the Greek Cypriot side in view of Turkey`s provocations.