October 09, 2020

Senate Democrats Urge President Trump to Stop Erdogan from Violating UN Security Council Resolutions Regarding Varosha

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was joined today by Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), and Jack Reed (D-R.I.) in voicing grave concerns over Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s announced intention to open the beach in Varosha, Cyprus, in violation of several United Nations Resolutions and longstanding policy in the country. The Senators urged President Trump to call on President Erdogan to reverse the decision and to work through the United Nations Security Council to ensure implementation of the organization’s existing resolutions regarding Varosha.

“We support a return to dialogue after months of tension caused by Turkey in the eastern Mediterranean, but Erdogan’s move on Varosha calls into serious question Turkey’s genuine commitment to a diplomatic path forward,” the Senators wrote. “Working with the European Union, the United States must lead an effort to condemn these actions.”

The Senators specifically called on President Trump to capitalize on his close ties to President Erdogan to push him to reverse course.

“We support engagement with leaders around the world if used in ways that advance the U.S. interest,” the Senators added. “Please work with urgency to use your close friendship with President Erdogan to ask him to comply with UN Security Council Resolutions on Varosha and to stop damaging the prospects for reunification negotiations.”

A copy of the letter may be found HERE and below.

 

 

Dear President Trump:

We are writing to express our strong concern about President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s announced intention to open the beach in Varosha, Cyprus in violation of several United Nations Resolutions and long standing policy in the country.  We urge you to directly call on President Erdogan to reverse the decision. We also urge you to work through the United Nations Security Council to ensure implementation of the organization’s existing resolutions regarding Varosha. 

Through his actions on Varosha and his support for Azerbaijan in the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, President Erdogan is working urgently to change facts on the ground while many in the west are distracted by competing events.  The United States needs to dispel this view and make clear our strong interest in events across the region.  This starts with your engagement and that of the Secretary of State.  We support a return to dialogue after months of tension caused by Turkey in the eastern Mediterranean, but Erdogan’s move on Varosha calls into serious question Turkey’s genuine commitment to a diplomatic path forward.  Working with the European Union, the United States must lead an effort to condemn these actions. 

The United States must also lead United Nations’ initiatives to press for the implementation of resolutions concerning Varosha, including #550 (adopted in 1984) which called for the “transfer of that area to the administration of the United Nations” and #789 (adopted in 1992).  Without such strong signals from UN, Turkey will feel emboldened to take further steps that permanently damage any hope for a bizonal, bicommunal federation on the island.

 We understand that you have a close relationship with President Erdogan and that you communicate with him frequently.  We support engagement with leaders around the world if used in ways that advance the U.S. interest.  Please work with urgency to use your close friendship with President Erdogan to ask him to comply with UN Security Council Resolutions on Varosha and to stop damaging the prospects for reunification negotiations. 

 

Sincerely,

 

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