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The American Hellenic Institute Urges Restriction of Turkish Government Involvement in UN-Backed Reunification Talks Between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Nick Larigakis
October 7, 2008—No. 64 (202) 785-8430

The American Hellenic Institute Urges Restriction of Turkish Government Involvement in UN-Backed Reunification Talks Between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots

AHI Releases Set of Principles to Guide Discussions

WASHINGTON — As Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots prepare to resume negotiations to reunify Cyprus, the American Hellenic Institute today urged the United Nations officials monitoring the talks to strictly restrict the Turkish Government's engagement in the process.

"Turkey should not interfere with the negotiations of Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat," said AHI Executive Director Nick Larigakis. "Mr. Talat must be allowed to represent the best interests of his people, not Turkish officials in Ankara." AHI (www.ahiworld.org) is a non-profit public policy organization that seeks to strengthen relations between the United States and Greece and Cyprus.

AHI also released a set of principles that it said should guide the talks:

  • The Turkish Government should exert no influence in the negotiations.
  • Concessions should not be offered to Turkey for removal of Turkish troops from Cyprus, which should occur immediately and unconditionally.
  • The agreement between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots should guarantee protection of minority-rights and result in a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation of Cypriot people in a Cypriot state with single sovereignty.

From its headquarters in Washington, AHI has encouraged the United States government to re-evaluate its policies regarding Turkey. Last month, AHI President Gene Rossides wrote to U.S. President George W. Bush and asked him to demand that Turkey remove its troops from Cyprus. The Bush administration, Rossides noted, recently made the same request of Russia when its troops entered Georgia.

"Comments by your administration regarding Russian actions in Georgia and calling for the removal of Russian invasion forces ring hollow when compared to U.S silence in 1974 regarding Turkey's aggression in Cyprus with the illegal use of U.S.- supplied arms in violation of U.S. laws, the U.N. Charter and the NATO Treaty," Rossides wrote. "The U.S. should bring forth a public statement calling for the immediate withdrawal of Turkey's illegal troops and settlers. Such a statement would give support to the negotiations between Republic of Cyprus President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat."

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For additional information, please contact AHI at (202) 785-8430 or [email protected]. For general information regarding the activities of AHI, please view our Web site athttp://www.ahiworld.org.