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AHI Letter to National Security Adviser Berger Calls for Action Rather Than lip Service
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: JONATHAN CLARKE
August 6, 1999 No. 31/99 (202) 785-8430

AHI Letter to National Security Adviser Berger Calls For Action Rather Than Lip Service

On August 6, 1999 the American Hellenic Institute sent a letter to National Security Adviser Sandy Berger calling for action rather lip-service in U.S. policy toward Cyprus. A copy of the letter is attached.

The letter drew attention to the message arising from the July 20 rally "Hands Across the Capitol" and the July 28 AHI conference "The United States and Cyprus--Twenty Five Years Later: A Study in Double Standards" that the time is long overdue for action against Turkish aggression and intransigence over Cyprus.

This message was made crystal clear by Chairman Ben Gilman of the House International Relations Committee at the July 28 conference when he stated:

"Everyone, including our State Department officials, understands that the impasse on Cyprus is caused by the position of Ankara and of Denktash. I have often said that Cyprus should not be held hostage to Turkish politics. We need to find ways to influence and modify Turkey's intransigence on Cyprus."

The spotlight must be on Turkey. The central issue at stake over Cyprus is Turkey's aggression and that the solution to this is that Turkey should be told to get out of Cyprus or face the consequences. This has not happened. Instead, the Administration has pursued an appeasement policy toward Turkey. In doing so, the U.S. has become an accomplice to aggression, occupation and ethnic cleansing.

The letter condemns lip-service and calls for a policy based on a recognition that the Cyprus problem is one of aggression, illegal occupation and attempted dismemberment by Turkey and that the U.S. bears a moral responsibility as well to reverse Turkey's aggression because of U.S. complicity in and toleration of that aggression.

The message for the Administration is that it should change course by:

  1. stating that future talks will take place on the precondition of restoring the status quo ante as it applied before Turkey's 1974 illegal invasion;
  2. identifying Turkey and its military-dominated government as the responsible party for the Cyprus problem and recognize that the Turkish military is the key, not Mr. Denktash;
  3. demanding that Turkey complies immediately with all relevant UN General Assembly and Security Council resolutions
  4. demanding the restoration of constitutional government for all of Cyprus; and
  5. instituting a realistic diplomatic approach including coercive measures against Turkey.