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AHI Letter Condemns Contacts With "Eastern Mediterranean College" In Occupied Cyprus
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: JONATHAN CLARKE
February 7, 2000 No. 07/2000 (202) 785-8430

AHI Letter Condemns Contacts With "Eastern Mediterranean College" In Occupied Cyprus

On February 7, 2000 the American Hellenic Institute sent a letter to the President Richard Judd of Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) to protest a protocol for collaboration signed with Eastern Mediterranean University, an institution located in the occupied areas of Cyprus. A copy of the letter is attached.

The letter points out that in international law, any cooperation with the occupied areas, including with the illegal entity the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus", is unlawful. When the latter made its illegal declaration of establishment in 1983, the Security Council condemned it in SCR 541 (1983) of November 18, 1983. A further Resolution SCR 550- (1984) of May 11, 1984 requires that no assistance or facilitation be given to this illegal entity. These resolutions have the effect of international law and are mandatory.

The letter warns that any collaboration by CCSU with institutions or figures in the occupied areas would therefore be contrary to international law. This in turn would bring discredit on CCSU.

In addition to the legal aspects, the letter raises objections on political and moral grounds. In as much as the Cyprus problem remains unresolved, this is first and foremost the responsibility of Mr. Denktash, the Turkish Cypriot leader. His intransigence and obstructionism has frustrated every international peace initiative. His behavior at the proximity talks last December in New York and at the present round in Geneva confirm the accuracy of Ambassador Richard Holbrooke's May 3, 1999 condemnation of Mr. Denktash's negativism.

The moral dimension concerns Turkey's 1974 aggression and subsequent equally illegal occupation of 1/3 of the island. During the course of the invasion 170,000 Greek Cypriots were driven from their homes in a vicious act of ethnic cleansing. Further, the fate of 1,619 persons (including 4 American citizens) remains unsettled. Based on statements from Mr. Denktash, it is likely that all met their death at the hands of the Turkish Cypriot militia of which Mr. Denktash was the commander. He is a man with, literally, blood on his hands.

Collaboration with Mr. Denktash and any institution in his illegal entity would in effect reward aggression, murder and theft. This would send an appalling signal to the students of CCSU. The letter calls on President Judd to review these facts and to revoke the agreement.