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Greek American Membership Organizations’ 2006 Policy Statement on the Cyprus Problem
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: GEORGIA ECONOMOU
April 12, 2006—No. 27 (202) 785-8430

Greek American Membership Organizations’ 2006 Policy Statement on the Cyprus Problem

WASHINGTON, DC—American Hellenic Institute President Gene Rossides announced today that the major Greek American membership organizations endorse the 2006 policy statement on the Cyprus Problem. Prepared by the American Hellenic Institute, it is part of the 2006 Greek American Policy Statements. The major membership organizations are: the Order of AHEPA, the Hellenic American National Council, the Cyprus Federation of America, the Panepirotic Federation of America, the Pan-Macedonian Association of America, the PanCretan Association of America and the American Hellenic Institute. The endorsed statement follows:

The Cyprus Problem

Background

The U.S. failed to take advantage of at least three factors since 2003 which presented the U.S. with opportunities for positive movement on the Cyprus problem. The first factor was that Operation Iraqi Freedom demonstrated (1) Turkey’s unreliability as a strategic ally when it counted most when Turkey refused on March 1, 2003 to allow up to 62,000 U.S. troops to use bases in Turkey to open a northern front against Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship; (2) that Turkey is of minimal strategic value for U.S. interests in the Middle East, since the defeat of the Saddam Hussein dictatorship without Turkey’s help and the availability of military facilities elsewhere in the region; and (3) that Turkey is an “extortionist” state who tried to get for its cooperation $6 billion more over the $26 billion offered, a veto over U.S. policy on the northern Iraq Kurds and access to northern Iraq oil. (N.Y. Times, Feb. 20, 2003; A1; col. 6.)

Turkey's unreliability as an ally is not new! There is a history of Turkey's actual support of and assistance to the Soviet military during the Cold War to the serious detriment of the U.S. (See Exh. 1)

The second factor was Cyprus’s accession to the European Union (EU) on May 1, 2004. This is a seminal event. It gives Cyprus permanent status as a state of the EU.

The third factor which surfaced fully in 2005 is the virulent anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism in Turkey today.

On February 16, 2005 The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) carried an editorial page article (A14; col.3) “The Sick Man of Europe—Again” by Mr. Robert L. Pollock, a senior editorial page writer at the WSJ. Finally a mainstream journalist, and a conservative one at that, has given the U.S. public the real picture of Turkey’s virulent anti-American and anti-Semitic attitudes. He tells it as it is. (See Exhibit 2 for a copy of Mr. Pollock’s article.)

On March 8, 2005, the noted journalist, Arnaud de Borchgrave, editor at large of The Washington Times and of United Press International, in an article titled “Cold Turkey” (Washington Times, Mar. 8, 2005, A17, col.1) pointed out that “Turkey, an erstwhile ally, nabbed the gold medal recently in the global anti-American stakes” citing a BBC world survey. (See Exhibit 3 for a copy of Mr. de Borchgrave’s article.)

On September 27, 2005, Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., in an article in the Washington Times titled “‘No’ to Islamist Turkey” highlighted why Europe should not accept Turkey into the EU. (See Exhibit 4)

On March 14, 2006, Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., in another article on Turkey, this one titled “Islamofascist Coup?” details Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s “creeping Islamofascist coup against the country’s secular institutions and traditions.” (See Exhibit 5)

In February 2006 a new Turkish film “Valley of the Wolves: Iraq,” a virulent anti-American and anti-Semitic film, was released to record breaking audiences in Turkey.

On March 18, 2006 another article on Turkey by Robert L. Pollock was published in the Wall Street Journal titled “After Ataturk: The Weekend Interview with Recep Tayyip Erdogan.” It was based on Mr. Pollock’s interview with Turkey’s Prime Minister Erdogan and, in effect, is just as disturbing as his first article. (See Exhibit 6)

In 2006, the U.S. can still take advantage of these three factors and should do so in the interest of the U.S.

There is no need now, if there ever was, for the U.S. to continue its harmful policy of double standards for and appeasement of Turkey on Turkey's invasion of Cyprus, its occupation of 37.3 percent of Cyprus, its violation of human rights in Turkey and Cyprus , its outlandish claim to one-half of the Aegean Sea and its disdain for the rule of law. The U.S. should alter its harmful “double standards” policy on the rule of law for Turkey and Turkey’s aggression against Cyprus and occupation of 37.3 percent of Cyprus, now in its 32nd year.

On July 20, 1974, Turkey invaded the Republic of Cyprus with the illegal use of U.S.-supplied arms and equipment in violation of the U.S. Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended, the UN Charter article 2 (4), the preamble and article 1 of the NATO Treaty and customary international law. Turkey occupied about four percent of Cyprus during the initial phase of its invasion. Turkish pilots flying American planes dropped American-made bombs (including napalm bombs), terrorizing and killing innocent Greek Cypriot civilians in Nicosia, Famagusta, Kyrenia, and elsewhere.

Turkey’s invasion had the support and encouragement of then Secretary of State Henry Kissinger who knew in advance Turkey planned to invade Cyprus and refused to use the U.S. Sixth Fleet or otherwise act to prevent the invasion, as requested by U.S. Ambassador to Greece, Henry Tasca. Kissinger refused to denounce Turkey's aggression, as Britain and most other nations did, and he refused to enforce U.S. laws requiring an immediate halt in U.S. arms to Turkey, though he had the statutory obligation to do so. He also violated his oath of office by failing to do so.

On August 14, 1974, three weeks after the legitimate government of Cyprus was restored, Turkey launched the second phase of its invasion of Cyprus. This was also encouraged by Secretary Kissinger, who the day before had authorized a statement by the State Department's spokesman, Ambassador Robert Anderson, that the Turkish Cypriots needed more protection. He failed to denounce the second phase of Turkey’s aggression and failed to uphold U.S. laws requiring an immediate halt in U.S.- supplied arms. In the second phase of the aggression, Turkey grabbed another 33 percent of the island, expanding its land grab to a total of 37.3 percent of Cyprus’s sovereign territory, killed innocent civilians, raped women from the ages of 12-71, forced 180,000 Greek Cypriots from their homes and property and committed massive destruction of property including churches. The European Commission on Human Rights issued a report on July 10, 1976 on the charges made in two applications by the Cyprus government. In the report the Commission found Turkey guilty of violating the following articles of the European Convention on Human Rights:

  1. Article 2 – by the killing of innocent civilians committed on a substantial scale;
  2. Article 3 – by the rape of women of all ages from 12 to 71;
  3. Article 3 – by the inhuman treatment of prisoners and persons detained;
  4. Article 5 – by deprivation of liberty with regard to detainees and missing persons—a continuing violation;
  5. Article 8 – by the displacement of persons creating more than 170,000 Greek Cypriot refugees, and by refusing to allow the refugees to return to their homes—a continuing violation;
  6. Article 1 of the First Protocol to the Convention—by deprivation of possessions, 
    looting and robbery on an extensive scale.

On January 23, 1977, the London Sunday Times published excerpts of the report (page 1, col.1) and stated: “It amounts to a massive indictment of the Ankara government for the murder, rape and looting by its army in Cyprus during and after the Turkish invasion of summer 1974.”

The Turkish army has continued to occupy this territory ever since. It is an affront to the international legal order and a continuing threat to regional stability.

The invasion and Turkey’s continuing occupation have drawn universal international condemnation, as reflected in UN resolutions, statements by members of Congress and from many nations, and various court decisions in Europe, but not from the Executive Branch of the U.S. government.

Turkey contributes some $350 million annually in direct economic support to the regime in the occupied parts of Cyprus, and it is estimated that the total cost to Turkey of its illegal occupation amounts to one billion dollars annually. To secure its land grab of Cypriot territory, Turkey has illegally settled northern occupied Cyprus with one hundred thousand Turks from Anatolia in violation of the Geneva Convention of 1949, section III, art. 4, which prohibits colonization by an occupying power. These colonists are beholden to their Turkish sponsors whose heavy annual outlays subsidize them. As money is fungible, U.S. economic aid subsidized Turkey's occupation of Cyprus for decades.

There is no legal distinction between Turkey's 1974 invasion of Cyprus and Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. The Cyprus problem is one of invasion and occupation by Turkey. Viewed objectively, Turkey in 1974 committed war crimes in Cyprus in view of the evidence presented to the European Commission of Human Rights and upheld by the Commission in its report referred to above.

Then Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger bears the major responsibility for the Cyprus problem in 1974 because he encouraged and supported Turkeys invasion of Cyprus, violated his oath of office by failing to halt immediately arms to Turkey as required by U.S. law and refused to denounce Turkey's aggression. The U.S. bears a moral responsibility to redress the situation.

Britain also bears a major responsibility for Turkey’s invasion of 1974 and for failing to meet its responsibility under the Treaty of Guarantee to warn Turkey against invading and to take action to repel the invasion on July 20, 1974, and to have rejected Turkey’s ultimatum on August 13, 1974 during UN negotiations and to have acted on August 14, 1974 to oppose Turkey’s renewed aggression.

We support a settlement of the Cyprus problem through negotiations based on a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation in a state with a single sovereignty and international personality, incorporating the norms of a constitutional democracy embracing key American principles, the EUacquis communautaire, the European constitution, UN resolutions on Cyprus, the pertinent decisions of the European Court of Human Rights and of other European Courts.

President Tassos Papadopoulos’ new initiative with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan praised

Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos initiated a meeting with Secretary-General Kofi Annan on February 28, 2006 aimed at reviving talks to achieve a settlement of the Cyprus problem. In 2005 President Papadopoulos had submitted extensive material to Mr. Annan regarding a renewal of discussions following the overwhelming rejection of the UN Annan plan, by a vote of 76 percent, by the Greek Cypriots on April 24, 2004.

Following their meeting, Messrs Annan and Papadopoulos issued a joint statement and held a press conference. The UN press release dated February 28, 2006 follows:

Joint statement readout by UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric:

“United Nations Secretary-General, Mr. Kofi Annan and President Tassos Papadopoulos met in Paris today to review the situation in Cyprus and examine modalities for moving forward on the process leading to the reunification of the Island.

They agreed, as they have in the past, that the resumption of the negotiating process within the framework of the Secretary-General’s Good Offices must be timely and based on careful preparation. To that end the Secretary-General was pleased to note that the leaders of both communities have agreed that bi-communal discussions on a series of issues, agreement on which are needed for the benefit of all Cypriots, will be undertaken at the technical level. The Secretary-General and President Papadopoulos expressed their common hope that these discussions would help restore trust between the two communities as well as prepare the way for the earliest full resumption of the negotiating process. The Secretary-General noted that he had received assurances from the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community, Mr. Talat, that he shared the same aspirations.

The Secretary-General and Mr. Papadopoulos also agreed that it would be beneficial for all concerned, and would greatly improve the atmosphere for further talks, if progress could be achieved on further disengagement of forces and demilitarization on the Island, on the complete de-mining of Cyprus, and on the issue of Famagusta. They took note of the recent decision by the European Union to release the much awaited funds for the benefit of the Turkish Cypriot community. In this context, they expressed their warm wishes for the full and speedy recovery of Mr. Talat.

The Secretary-General and President Papadopoulos agreed to continue their ongoing dialogue with the expressed aim at accelerating the search for a comprehensive, fair and mutually acceptable solution to the Cyprus problem.”

Q: “What will be the role of the EU during this process?”

SG: “As you know, during the exercise of my good offices over the years, we have cooperated very effectively with the European Union and we intended to cooperate with them. In some situations they have provided experts and they have provided other assistance. In some cases [we] exchanged ideas on some of the technical issues and process, of the exercise of my good offices and I would expect [them] to work with me in that spirit. Besides, they have a direct interest in the settlement of this issue.”

PRES. PAPADOPOULOS: “I agree with the Secretary-General. Our position is very clear. We want the European Union to have a more active role in the process and I have assurances that they are prepared to do that. The Cyprus problem remains under the aegis of the United Nations and the Secretary-General.”

SG: “As I said, the EU has always been supportive and I expect them to continue to be supportive. There is no problem about it.”

Q: “Mr. Secretary-General, what do you think of the recent Turkish proposals and, second, are you planning to invite Mr. Talat for the same meeting and are you going to appoint a new Cyprus envoy?”

SG: “First of all, we just wished Mr. Talat well. Be patient and be merciful. Let him get well first. Once he’s back on his feet, it is not excluded that we will have an opportunity to meet in New York some time in the future. As I said, we took stock of the negotiations, of the process of settlement of the Cyprus issue and we also touched on the Turkish initiative. We are going to take a look at a whole series of actions and Turkey does admit that it has an obligation, under the EU requirement, to undertake certain steps which it will take. But, of course, there were other measures proposed in their plan of action and, today, we looked at a whole series of other activities that the two sides can undertake, I am talking of the Turkish Cypriot side and [the Greek Cypriot side] and we will see what proposals we bring together for the parties to act on.

On the question of appointment of an envoy, yes, in the application of my Good Offices I usually do have an envoy and, at the right time, I will appoint an envoy, but that does not mean that we are not doing any work on the question. First of all, I have a very competent Special Representative on the ground, Mr. Michael Moller, whom I hope most of you have met, and he’s going to work with the parties on certain steps and certain actions that they will need to take. We will be back-stopping and preparing for these things in New York with my Under-Secretary-General, Ibrahim Gambari and his staff, and when the time is ripe I will appoint an envoy.”

Q: “Did you also discuss the issue of the missing people?”

SG: “Yes, we are just about to appoint a third member of the [Missing Persons] Committee and they will begin their work very soon and I do expect the two communities to work very expeditiously on this and move forward. There will be a full-time member [of the Committee] on the island.”

Q: “Do you consider this meeting with President Papadopoulos a step forward in the process of the Cyprus forward?”

SG: “In negotiations, sometimes people say that as long as you are talking you are making progress. But what I have indicated, what I would want to see, is a much narrower gap between our words and our actions. In the next couple of months, we are going to whatever we can to narrow the gap as we move ahead with the process.”

Q: “Mr. Secretary-General did you get in this meeting some new ideas from Pres. Papadopoulos [inaudible]and that the process will start soon. Is there enough time to do it before the end of your term?”

SG: “Let me say that, yes, there were quite a few proposals that were put on the table this afternoon, which we are going to analyze carefully and see how we can put them into action, after consulting the other side, working together and come up with a programme of action which we can begin to work on the ground. Obviously, when you are handling these sorts of negotiations, where there is a will among the parties things can move very fast. When the will is not there, it can take you a long time. Let’s start with the initiatives I just said that we discussed today and begin to take concrete steps and see how things can be accelerated. And I hope that it will help bridge what I refer to as the gap between words and actions.”

Q: “It is a symbolic question. We see you for the first time standing outside of the UN in front of the flag of the Republic of Cyprus. Is this some kind of measures that we have to keep in mind?”

SG: “Let me assure you that I will not want his job. I am looking forward at the end of the year, of having a balance between action and reflection and taking some rest. So, do not worry, I am not heading to Nicosia to take on another job.”

PRES. PAPADOPOULOS: “I will send my best wishes to Mr. Talat for a quick recovery. I wish him a speedy recovery. [inaudible]”

Q: “Mr. Annan how optimistic are you?”

SG: “I am always optimistic.”

U.S. Senator Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine) praised President Papadopoulos for his initiative in remarks on the Senate floor on March 9, 2006 which follow:

Ms. SNOWE. “Mr. President, I rise today to commend the President of Cyprus, Tassos Papadopoulos, for promoting a new U.N.-sponsored initiative to resolve the division of the island of Cyprus. Cyprus has been divided for more than 30 years, following a 1974 invasion by Turkey. The time is ripe for resolving this longstanding split, and I applaud President Papadopoulos for taking the initiative to end the division.

On February 28, 2006, President Papadopoulos met with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and proposed that the U.N. appoint a special envoy for Cyprus to lay the groundwork for negotiations to end the division of Cyprus. President Papadopoulos also proposed a number of cross-community confidence-building measures to strengthen the foundation for reunification. After the meeting, Secretary-General Annan and President Papadopoulos issued a joint statement agreeing on the resumption of bicommunal discussions on the technical aspects necessary to prepare the ground for full peace negotiations.

There have been significant developments in Cyprus over the past 2 years that make this the right time for reunification. Nearly 2 years ago, Cyprus joined the European Union, and in that time, the Government of Cyprus has promoted the opening up of several crossing points through the U.N.-patrolled cease-fire line. As a result, the Government of Cyprus has transformed the everyday realities on Cyprus to that unlike any other divided nation.

Unlike other divisions with which my colleagues may be familiar, such as East and West Berlin, the people of Cyprus are able to cross the dividing line to visit their ancestral lands, work, and shop. Indeed, since the opening of crossing points, there have been more than 9 million incident-free crossings. Every day, more than 10,000 Turkish Cypriots cross from the occupied territory to the government-controlled area to work. This increased economic activity and trade across the dividing line has contributed in more than doubling the per-capita income of the Turkish-Cypriots in the past 2 short years.

As confidence building measures, President Papadopoulos has proposed to take additional steps to build on the gains of the past 2 years. The Government of Cyprus has already proposed the reopening of the occupied Port of Famagusta and the return of the adjacent city of Varosha to its original inhabitants; a "ghost'' city that has been abandoned since the 1974 Turkish invasion. Famagusta would operate under the joint administration of the two communities, bringing the two communities closer together, and also under the EU's regulatory auspices, enhancing trade opportunities. President Papadopoulos has also proposed to open additional crossing points to make travel and trade between the two communities easier.

Last week, the European Union announced economic aid to the Turkish Cypriots of 139 million eurodollars—approximately $165 million. The Government of Cyprus had pushed strongly for this aid, despite unfortunate attempts by others to attach preconditions and political stipulations to its release. This aid from the EU further demonstrates the positive effect of Cyprus's EU membership on the prospects for reunification.

I applaud the steps that the Government of Cyprus and President Papadopoulos have taken to encourage a just and lasting solution to the Cyprus division. His meeting with Secretary-General Annan is a positive first step toward the resumption of reunification negotiations. On Cyprus today, the two communities are closer together than at any time since the invasion. Although prior reunification efforts have failed, the developments of the past 2 years offer the greatest prospect for a peaceful and lasting solution to the division.”

On March 18, 2006, Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-Maryland), at the American Hellenic Institute’s annual awards dinner congratulated President Papadopoulos as follows:

“One of the things I feel strongly about as a nation is that we do need to rededicate ourselves in international relations to the rule of law. I believe that as a nation we had a great opportunity out of the tragedy of September 11th. Because after that terrible tragedy the world rallied behind the United States. The United Nations unanimously passed a resolution condemning the attacks on the United States. NATO for the first time in its history invoked the article of the Charter that said an attack on one country is an attack on all. Yet if you look around the world today that great support that we had has evaporated, and I think we need as a country to get back to many of our earlier roots in the area of foreign policy. We need to understand that the rule of law is not an ‘a la carte’ selection. You can’t pick and chose when you are going to abide by international law.


I must say for our Ambassadors who are representing the United States overseas I really do feel for them when they are asked sometimes to go to another country and insist for example that people follow human rights provisions, when in fact the United States record unfortunately these days has been tarnished somewhat. And it is especially important that we maintain note of those convictions because when we talk about situations like that in the Eastern Mediterranean, Cyprus we are going to need to depend on the rule of law for our argument.

I want to say with respect to Cyprus I join with my colleagues from the Senate side Olympia Snowe and Senator Sarbanes in congratulating President Papadopoulos on his recent meeting with Secretary General Kofi Annan and his interest in restarting the discussions with respect to bringing a resolution to the Cyprus problem. And in their joint communiqué they specifically mentioned the goal of the demilitarization of the island which we need to continue to remember that the biggest problem in Cyprus is the continuing occupation of the Turkish forces on the island.

That was an important development, unfortunately, if you’ve been reading recently the Turkish government has actually so far spurned the request of a UN Special Representative, Michael Moller, to visit Ankara to begin to discuss these issues. That’s unfortunate but I think it’s important for Turkey and others to understand that the original Kofi Annan plan is dead. It was rejected overwhelmingly by the people in Cyprus that rejected it by a vote of 76 percent.

Now the United States and the Bush administration has been talking about the promotion of democracy. If we are going to be promoting democracy we have to honor the verdicts of people when they vote, and the people of Cyprus exercised their right to vote and they made a decision, and we must make sure as a nation the United States should not punish people for exercising their right to vote.

Now, there are some in the administration, there are some on Capitol Hill that would like to punish the Greek Cypriots for that vote. And, you are seeing more and more discussion about direct contacts between the United States and the North. I mean people visiting Cyprus going in through the North, talking about direct trade with the North.

And when we do that we undermine the position that we’ve always held, we undermine the rule of law and international agreements that were mentioned earlier. We also undermine the efforts of the European Union to make sure that as a condition of entering the European Union Turkey abides by the rules of the European Union. And, one of those rules is that you trade through the legitimate ports of entry.

Now, just last February you probably read that Turkey actually refused to accept a ship with the Republic of Cyprus flag at one of their ports of entry. That, as the European Parliament just voted a couple of days ago, overwhelmingly, that is a violation of the terms under which Turkey would become a member of the European Union.

Now, Turkey’s position is this, they say well look you are not allowing us to directly export to the ports in the north so why should we accept your goods. The difference is they have a legal obligation now. It’s sort of like saying I’ll agree to follow a law but only if you do this. That’s not the way we should be doing business, but we can only come from a position of strength on that issue if we say it is important to abide by the rule of law.

So, I just want to end where I started with the fact that AHI has always stood up for the importance of following the rule of law. And we can’t say one day we are going to follow the rule of law and the other day we won’t because by doing that we undermine our position.

So let me just thank all of you for all you’ve done over many years to support the work of AHI. It’s been a great privilege for me to work with many of you in this room on the fine work that you do. I look forward to continuing to work with you on the days ahead. Thank you very much for this honor.”

Annan Plan “not a viable solution to the Cyprus problem”

The Annan Plan-5, submitted by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan as the basis for a settlement in 2004, was undemocratic, unworkable, not financially viable and not compatible with American principles, the EU's acquis communautaire, UN resolutions and the European Convention on Human Rights. Congresswoman Illeana Ros-Lehtinen, a senior member of the House International Relations Committee, in a March 12, 2005 letter to President Bush called the Annan Plan “not a viable solution to the Cyprus problem” and further stated: “The Annan Plan in its present form is unsuitable for a successful resolution of the Cyprus problem and needs major modifications to be viable.”

Mrs. Ros-Lehtinen detailed the reasons why the Annan Plan was not a viable solution: “the continuing presence of Turkish troops;” “Turkish Cypriots and mainland Turkish settlers” keeping “Greek Cypriot homes and other property that they seized following the Turkish invasion of Cyprus” and “not have to reimburse the owners of the property;” Annan requires “the Greek Cypriots to be reimbursed by the federal treasury which is funded overwhelmingly by the Greek Cypriots” which means “the Greek Cypriots would be reimbursing themselves.” (See Exhibit 7 for a detailed analysis of the Annan Plan’s many obvious shortcomings. Exhibits 1-7 may be accessed at AHI’s website at ahiworld.org.)

The Congresswoman also referred to “the unwarranted criticism and attacks on the Greek-Cypriots for their ‘no’ vote of 76 percent,” and stated that: “The public has been misled by claims that Greek-Cypriots were the ones responsible for the ultimate failure of the unification plan.”

In the letter to President Bush, she also stated: “Perhaps it is now time for a new approach to the issue.” She urged the President “to remain engaged in efforts to resolve the conflict in Cyprus, and to continue the search for a just and lasting reunification that will promote peace and stability.”

Dora Bakoyannis, Greece’s new Foreign Minister, has stated, most recently on April 4, 2006 in Cyprus that the UN Annan Plan was “history.” “‘The Annan Plan, as it was submitted for approval by the Cypriot people, was rejected. From the moment it was rejected, it is history,’ Bakoyannis said.” (National Herald, April 8, 2006, page 13; col.1)

With the State Department’s new political leadership of Secretary Condoleezza Rice and the new career leadership of Under Secretary for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns there is an opportunity to redress the situation.

Syrian Troops Out of Lebanon Turkish Troops Out of Cyprus

In March of 2005 President Bush called for the immediate removal of Syrian troops from Lebanon. Last year the U.S. actively supported UN Security Council Resolution 1559 which called for the removal of all non-Lebanese forces from Lebanon, in effect telling Syria to get out of Lebanon.

Getting Syrian troops out of Lebanon is in the best interests of the U.S. Getting Turkish troops out of Cyprus is also in the best interests of the U.S.

The failure to call for the removal of Turkish troops from Cyprus is a striking example of the double standard in Turkey’s favor. It is particularly distressing as the Turkish troops which invaded Cyprus caused substantial loss of lives, 180,000 Greek Cypriot refugees and huge destruction of property. The reasons to call for the removal of Turkish troops from Cyprus are as compelling, and more so, than getting Syrian troops out of Lebanon.

Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a senior member of the House International Relations Committee, in a speech in Washington on March 5, 2005 at the American Hellenic Institute’s annual dinner, called for an end to “the continuing presence of Turkish troops on the island. They’ve got to go,” she said.

Removal from Cyprus of Turkey’s 120,000 illegal colonists/settlers

President Bush should also call for the immediate withdrawal of Turkey’s 120,000 illegal colonists/settlers in Cyprus in violation of the Geneva Convention of 1949.

Tear down Turkey’s barbed wire fence across the face of Cyprus

The removal of Turkey’s troops, colonists and barbed wire fence would end the Turkish Cypriot’s economic isolation and go a long way to solving the Cyprus problem because the Greek and Turkish Cypriots could then work out a fair and effective agreement.

Why hasn’t President Bush called for the removal of Turkey’s illegal troops and colonists from Cyprus and the tearing down of the Green Line barbed wire fence (as President Reagan called for the Soviets to tear down the Berlin Wall)? The answer is that he has followed the failed State Department policy of a double standard on the application of the rule of law to Turkey. That policy started in 1974, when Turkey invaded Cyprus with the illegal use of U.S. arms, and has continued to the present time.

The person who led the effort in promoting the double standard this past decade is former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Marc Grossman. Mr. Grossman retired on February 25, 2005 and has been succeeded by Nicholas Burns, former State Department spokesperson, U.S. Ambassador to Greece and U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO. Hopefully Mr. Burns will initiate a review of the U.S.-Turkey policy, a review which is long overdue.

Instead of calling for the removal of (1) Turkish invasion and occupation troops from Cyprus, (2) the illegal colonists and (3) the Turkish barbed wired fence across the face of Cyprus, the State Department says they are part of the negotiations, which means, in effect, the State Department’s support for Turkish aggression.

The State Department’s “double speak” on Turkey’s invasion of Cyprus in 1974 compared to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990 is right out of George Orwell’s 1984.

A review of U.S. policy towards Turkey should begin with the Eisenhower Doctrine: “There can be no peace without law. And there can be no law if we were to invoke one code of international conduct for those who oppose us and another for our friends.” Eisenhower applied that doctrine to halt and reverse aggression by Britain, France and Israel against Egypt in 1956.

A top UN official informed Syria that the UN would consider “wide punitive sanctions” if Syria did not comply with UN SC Res. 1559. The U.S. should also consider such sanctions against Turkey if Turkey does not get out of Cyprus now.

To achieve a Cyprus settlement, the U.S. should apply forceful economic, political, and diplomatic pressure on Turkey, including sanctions and the withdrawal of trade benefits if necessary, to get Turkey to remove its 40,000 armed forces and its 120,000 illegal colonists from Cyprus, and to tear down the Turkish barbed wire fence across the face of Cyprus which are the causes of the Turkish Cypriots isolation.

The limited opening of the Green Line in Nicosia in April 2003 resulted in thousands of peaceful daily crossings by Turkish and Greek Cypriots and has demonstrated beyond a doubt that Greek and Turkish Cypriots can live and work together peacefully as they did before. It destroyed the propaganda of Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash, that they could not live together and needed to be separated.

NATO’s toleration of Turkey’s aggression against Cyprus in violation of the NATO Treaty and the UN Charter is evidence of a double standard and a stain on NATO’s record and honor. NATO should call for the immediate removal of Turkey’s illegal occupation forces and settlers from Cyprus and the demilitarization of Cyprus. If Turkey refuses to cooperate, NATO should consider appropriate action to bring Turkey into compliance. We call on the U.S. to encourage NATO members to apply pressure on Turkey to abide by the clear requirements of the NATO Treaty, to desist from aggression against other states and to reform the constitution of Turkey to reflect Western standards of civilian democracy.

The U.S. should make the search for a just solution to the Cyprus problem a foreign policy priority and should expand its economic, political, diplomatic, and security relations with Cyprus. The U.S. in its own interests should support amendments to the Annan Plan to make it democratic, workable, financially viable, just and compatible with American principles, EU democratic norms and human rights standards. Reunification of the island on just and viable terms and the nation’s membership in the EU as an integrated whole are worthy goals. They will benefit all parties concerned and will advance the U.S. interests in regional stability and adherence to the rule of law. To promote these interests, the U.S. should more forcefully exert its influence with Turkey, including the Turkish military.

The Greek Cypriots worked hard to recover from the devastation of the Turkish invasion and adhered in all their efforts to the rule of law.They achieved an economic miracle. Yet when the Greek Cypriots overwhelmingly voted no by 76 percent to the flawed Annan Plan, the State Department, led by then Under Secretary Marc Grossman, attacked them for exercising their democratic right to vote and personally attacked Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos.

The Cyprus problem is the central issue of U.S.-Cyprus relations, but it is not the only component of the relationship. Cyprus is within the U.S. strategic perimeter in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East. Cyprus is a strategic key for U.S. interests in the region. It is a stationary aircraft carrier in the region and its mountains provide areas for the most effective listening and transmitting devices in the region. We suggest that the Administration increase efforts to deepen its relations with Cyprus by ensuring regular visits to Cyprus by senior officials whose responsibilities are not directly related to the solution of the Cyprus problem.

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For additional information, please contact Georgia Economou at (202) 785-8430 or georgia@ahiworld.org. For general information regarding the activities of AHI, please view our Web site at http://www.ahiworld.org.