U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, wrote President Obama urging the Administration to increase attention to the goal of reunifying Cyprus.
At the press conference on the steps of the U.S. Capitol, the two high ranking Senators cut barbed wire, to symbolize reunification efforts and to send a message that 40 years of division was enough.
In the letter, the Chairmen wrote: “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.”
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Dear President Obama:
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. As Vice President Biden stated during his recent visit in Cyprus, “…it’s long past time – 40 years – that all Cypriots are reunited in a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation.”
An EU Member, Cyprus has proven itself to be a reliable partner to the United States, including in counterterrorism and nonproliferation efforts. 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. It is also clear 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.
Since the Turkish invasion in 1974, the U.S. has supported a solution in accordance with U.N. 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.
We urge you to likewise enhance U.S. support for the reunification efforts and look forward to working with you to end these 40 long years of unjust and undeserved division.
Chairman Robert Menendez
Chairman Edward R. Royce