Washington, DC.- By Apostolos Zoupaniotis
US Senator Robert Menendez, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and US Representative Ed Royce, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, have written to US President Barack Obama, urging the US Administration to increase attention to the goal of reunifying Cyprus.
In the letter, the two Chairmen said that “reunification would allow Cyprus to fully realize its potential as a stable and predictable democracy and a regional leader anchored in the western security architecture that is capable of bolstering European energy security.”
“Forty years after the violent conflict that divided Cyprus, we urge you to increase the United States’ attention to the longstanding goal of reunifying the island and restoring the human rights and basic freedoms of all its citizens,” they noted.
They recalled Vice President Biden`s statement during his recent visit in Cyprus that “…it`s long past time – 40 years – that all Cypriots are reunited in a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation.”
Menendez and Royce said that “an EU Member, Cyprus has proven itself to be a reliable partner to the United States, including in counterterrorism and nonproliferation efforts.”
They stressed that “reunification would allow Cyprus to fully realize its potential as a stable and predictable democracy and a regional leader anchored in the western security architecture that is capable of bolstering European energy security.”
“As reunification can only come from sincere negotiations between the island’s communities, we believe that the United States has a critical role to play in supporting the negotiating process that resumed earlier this year,” they noted.
It is also clear, they added, that reunification is not possible without Turkey`s support. “Turkey must engage in a meaningful and constructive dialogue to address core issues such as the full and permanent withdrawal of its military forces, territorial adjustments, property issues and settlers,” they underlined.
They recalled that since the Turkish invasion in 1974, the US has supported a solution in accordance with UN Security Council Resolutions that provide for the establishment of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation with a single sovereignty, a single international personality and a single citizenship.
“In our roles in Congress we will work to support efforts to reach a solution that will restore peace on the island,” they pledged, urging President Obama “to likewise enhance US support for the reunification efforts and look forward to working with you to end these 40 long years of unjust and undeserved division.”