July 21, 2021

Chairman Menendez: Erdogan’s Announced Plans for Greek Cypriot Suburb Can Not Stand

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement in response to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s speech in Cyprus, where he announced he would step up his campaign to undermine the island’s peace negotiations by opening the coastline of Varosha in direct violation of multiple United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolutions:

“As Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, I condemn President Erdogan’s plans to develop Varosha and promote a separate state in the north of Cyprus.    

“On this somber anniversary of Turkey’s illegal invasion of Cyprus, we are reminded how the events of 1974 only served to presage Turkey’s increasingly aggressive and dangerous posture against U.S. national security interests and those of our closest allies and partners.  To be clear, Turkey’s invasion and illegal occupation in the north of Cyprus is in violation of international law and must end. But in explicitly calling for two states on the island and planning to develop Varosha despite United Nations resolutions seeking special status for the area, Ankara not only threatens the Republic of Cyprus, but the security of the entire region.

“Simply put, Erdogan is no friend of the United States. I look forward to working with Secretary Blinken to explore new measures that the Biden administration can take to ensure President Erdogan faces additional consequences for violating international law, and for his brazen determination to rob Cypriots from controlling their own destiny. The United States must not waver in our firm commitment to help end the tragic division of this island nation.  It is incumbent on us to make sure the world is watching, and that Ankara is held accountable.”  

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Juan Pachon