Greek American lawyer takes Turkey's illegal regime in Cyprus to American Courts (Parikiaki 21.10.2010)
NATIONAL FEDERATION OF CYPRIOTS IN THE UNITED KINGDOM
Britannia Road, London, N12 9RU.
Tel: 020 8445 9999 Fax: 020 8445 9977
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
6 October 2010
Minister for Europe: “Cyprus will not be forgotten”
Minister for Europe, David Lidington MP, last night reassured British Cypriot delegates at the Conservative Party’s annual conference in Birmingham that Cyprus remains a priority for the new Coalition Government.
A fringe event organised jointly by Conservatives for Cyprus and Federation members DESY UK and the Greek Cypriot Brotherhood, under the auspices of the Federation, was hosted by Theresa Villiers MP (Minister for Transport) and Charles Tannock MEP and attended by a number of other politicians, delegates and visitors to the Conservative conference. Ms Villiers welcomed guests and spoke of her pride in her party’s record on supporting Cyprus, saying:
“Support for Cyprus is unstinting in the Conservative party. The two communities in Cyprus have the capacity and the will to live harmoniously together in a reunited Cyprus if they’re given the opportunity to make their own decisions about their own country and our Government will give all the support to Cypriots to reach a lasting and just solution.”
She then introduced David Lidington MP who told guests that Cyprus remains high on the Foreign Office’s list of priorities:
“The cause of Cyprus is not going to be forgotten. The Government, William Hague and I personally, are committed to do whatever lies within our power to help sustain and support the Cypriot-led process under the auspices of the United Nations, which we hope will lead to the reunification of the island which ordinary families on both communities wish to see. And when we talk to the governments of Greece and Turkey we also make sure that they are aware of the importance that we attach to the issue of Cyprus and make sure they are aware of our wish for them to do all that they can to bring about a settlement and to do so soon.”
Co-host Charles Tannock MEP spoke of how he works with his counterparts in the European Parliament, adding that “there is a narrow opportunity in the next few months for a breakthrough. It is essential that Mr Eroglu and President Christofias realise that the situation cannot go on forever and that they must seize the opportunity and come to a solution where Cyprus is united together, while respecting each other’s cultures.”
Andreas Papaevripides, Federation Vice-President and Chairman of DESY UK, representing the Conservative Party’s sister party, DESY, thanked Conservatives for their interest and support for Cyprus over many years, and went on to remind the guests that while we mourn the division of the island, we can nevertheless celebrate the recent 50th anniversary of the Republic of Cyprus.
The National Federation of Cypriots in the UK was represented at the event by its President, Mr Peter Droussiotis, who earlier in the evening had met with Foreign Secretary Rt Hon William Hague MP at the Conservative Party’s International reception. He thanked guests and the hosts of the event for their continued support on the Cyprus problem, reassuring them that the Cypriot community in the UK would not give up the “just struggle to reunite the island on the basis of democratic values” and asking for their help to turn the vision of a reunited island into reality. He added:
“We, British Cypriots, are fully supportive of President Christofias’s really strenuous efforts and the principled flexibility ha has shown in the direct negotiations and we call upon the new Turkish Cypriot leader to reciprocate so that a negotiated settlement can be reached as soon as possible, but we have no doubt that Turkey’s role is absolutely crucial to the outcome of these negotiations. There can be no solution in Cyprus without Turkey’s positive contribution and active engagement.”
David Burrowes MP, the Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group the Friends of Cyprus, echoed the words and sentiments of his fellow Parliamentarians and went on to urge guests to lobby their own MPs to join the Friends of Cyprus group.
Other notable guests included Nick de Bois MP, Andrew Rosindell MP, Tony Yerolemou (Chairman of Conservatives for Cyprus and Vice President of the Greek Cypriot Brotherhood), Ian Twinn, former MP and longstanding friend of Cyprus, and the Cyprus High Commissioner HE Mr Alexandros Zenon.
For more information, please call Tony Sophoclides on 07887 935 335.
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Notes to editors
- Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish military forces invaded the northern part of the island and thereafter occupied approximately 38% of its territory.
- The National Federation of Cypriots in the United Kingdom was founded shortly after the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974 and has since represented the largest community of Cypriots outside of the island itself.
- The Federation is an umbrella organisation of the Cypriot community associations across the UK and seeks to coordinate the activities of more than 300,000 Britons of Cypriot origin.
- Peter Droussiotis was elected President of the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK in June 2007, the first second generation Cypriot elected to that position and the fourth President of the Federation. Peter also serves as President of Episteme – The Association of British Cypriot Professionals and has previously been a leading Labour Councillor in Haringey. A barrister by background, Peter founded PGD Strategy Limited, a specialist corporate finance and strategy consulting firm, of which he is the current Chairman in 2000, after a career which included senior roles with Credit Suisse, Minet Group (now part of Aon) and Price Waterhouse (now PWC).
24th September 2010
His Excellency Frank C. Urbancic, Jr.
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America
Embassy of the United States of America
Metochiou & Ploutarchou Street
Dear Mr Urbancic
We are writing to you because the latest proposed act in the systematic destruction of the cultural heritage and natural beauty of Cyprus by the occupying forces in north Cyprus uses the name of, so implies complicity by, the United States of America: it involves the archaeologically important and naturally beautiful Karpasia area. We understand that the illegal Turkish regime has allocated 195 donums in Ayios (Saint) Philonas to be used for the construction of a campus for the “Kyrenia American University”. St Philonas was a 4th Century Bishop of Karpasia, 24th January is his celebrated names day. St Philonas Church on the site is 12th Century and there are also the remains of a 5th Century Church on the site. Furthermore, at the cape of Apostolos Andreas in Karpasia there is an area with mostly juniper trees that is called Trachia. Legend has it, that it was named after Trachilos that ruled the peninsula, most probably sometime before Christ. Still to this day the ruins of the city of Ourania are scattered around the area known today as Panayia Afentrika on the north coast ten kilometres west of the cape. Thus the whole area is one of tremendous archaeological importance to Western civilization and it would be an act of unbelievable vandalism and barbarity to allow the proposed destruction of the area.
Our Association’s key objective is to support and to highlight the plight of 260 enclaved Greek Cypriot people in Rizokarpasso which, as you know, like the rest of northern Cyprus, was invaded by Turkish troops in 1974 and remains under Turkish army occupation. They are denied basic human rights and fundamental freedoms contrary to the Third Vienna Agreement between Mr. Clerides and Mr. Denktash in August 1975. The plight of the enclaved has been exacerbated by the transportation of settlers from Turkey to occupy the homes and properties of the 4,500 Greek Cypriots in Rizokarpasso who were forced to leave following the Turkish invasion. We also wish to promote progress towards a solution to the injustice that the small island of Cyprus has suffered from for the last 36 years as a result of Turkey’s invasion, occupation, colonisation and expansionist policy. Obviously, any solution must return properties to their legal owners, without delay, to be acceptable.
This latest proposed act by the illegal regime will destroy the cultural heritage of the Karpasia area and impact on the rare and unspoilt natural beauty of the area with its unique environmental wealth of rare flora and fauna, which is designated a national park. We ask that the United States of America uses its significant influence to put pressure on the illegal administration and occupying forces not to proceed with this proposal.
Thanking you in anticipation of your kind assistance.
Mrs Mary Helen Karaolis OBE BEd(Hons) MA NPQH FCollT
President of the Association of Rizokarpasso in Britain
Similar letters, appropriately amended, were sent to: Matthew Kidd, British High Commissioner in Cyprus; Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director General; Jose Manuel Durao Barroso, President of the European Commission; David Lidington MP, Minister for Europe.
31st July 2010
Dear Mr Cameron
I am writing on behalf of the Executive Committee and members of the Association of Rizokarpasso in Britain, all of whom are British Citizens and many are second, third or fourth generation. However, our roots, through our parents and grandparents are in Rizokarpasso, which is in occupied northern Cyprus.
We believe our government, which is a Guarantor Power for the independence and territorial integrity of the Republic of Cyprus, has a responsibility to us, its citizens, to adopt a foreign policy that ensures the return of our properties in occupied Cyprus under conditions of safety.
Therefore, we were disheartened to hear your comment in your recent speech in Ankara “We want you to continue to work towards a solution in Cyprus, despite our disappointment that a huge effort six years ago was unsuccessful. We will work with you in every way we can as you do this.” You seem to totally ignore the fact that you are addressing Turkey, which is an invading, occupying and colonizing power that has ignored numerous UN Resolutions, is breaking the Geneva Convention and ignores Human Rights whilst expressing your disappointment that the people of Cyprus voted against a proposal six years ago that would have imposed an unjust and unworkable, one sided, plan which was conceived for the benefit of the invader and occupier, Turkey and to facilitate its accession to the EU.
We wish you to explain how your Ankara speech complies with Mr Hague’s speech, that our country’s foreign policy will not be “without a conscience” that it will not “repudiate our obligation to help those less fortunate”, have “consistent support of human rights”, “strive to act with moral authority”. Mr Hague also said that our foreign policy would value the British Commonwealth which “is underpinned by an agreed framework of common values” and also acknowledged what the “smaller states” in the EU can offer. Your speech in Ankara contradicts our Government’s stated foreign policy as expressed by Mr Hague.
To comply with our Governments stated Foreign Policy we ask you also to take an interest in: a) the human rights of the enclaved in Karpasia, currently there are 260 enclaved Greek Cypriots in Rizokarpasso, (a Greek Cypriot village of 4,500 in 1974), most of whom are now aged over 65; b) the failure of the illegal occupying administration to give permission for the renovation of St Andrew’s Monastery, a place of cultural and religious significance for all Cypriots, located in occupied Cyprus; c) the human rights of the Greek Cypriot property owners, including British Citizens of Greek Cypriot ancestry, who have been denied use, benefit from and enjoyment of their properties in occupied north Cyprus since the Turkish invasion of 1974.
My parents came to England from Cyprus in the early 1930s and worked non-stop until 1980 when my father retired. My father was in the Middlesex Regiment during World War II and was a DDay Veteran, he served in France, Belgium, Germany and then was posted to Palestine before being demobbed in 1946. Sadly, he died 7 months ago at the age of 93 very disappointed that his adopted country, Great Britain, had so let down his country of birth; he would have been shocked and deeply upset at your speech in Ankara. All his life, and as a British soldier in World War II, my father upheld the beliefs expressed by Mr Hague.
We look forward to receiving your response.
Mrs Mary Helen Karaolis OBE BEd(Hons) MA NPQH FCollT
_____________________________________________________________________________________________The closing down of the church of the Holy Trinity in Rizokarpaso
Plans to turn it into a museum or a mosque –extensive construction in the area
A few days ago, the representatives of the enclaved in Rizokarpaso were notified that the second largest church of the village, that of the Holy Trinity, which operated on rotating basis with the churches of Apostle Andreas and Saint Synecious, also in Karpasia, will cease to function. The church is of great and archeological importance because it has been built on top of the Byzantine temple of Saint Panteleimon and incorporates valuable old pictures of Saints. This is where the Mass Book of the monk Akakios was kept until the black summer of 1974, when it disappeared. A lot of funerals as well as regular masses take place in this church.
The church of the Holy Trinity can be found on the northern side of Rizokarpaso, where recently there has been extensive building activity and in particular construction of houses for Agro tourism. Other building works are apparent in the vicinity and especially in the wider area of the church, which cannot be unrelated to the decision to close down the church. Base on different sources of information there is speculation that the church will be turned into a museum or that it will be transformed into a mosque so as to cater to the needs of the mainland Turkish settlers, whose number is on the increase; or that there is a plan for the construction of a mosque right next to the church and consequently the settlers do not wish for the church to operate besides it. The latter eventuality is supported by the fact that construction of a building on a grand scale has already began right next to the church. It is worth mentioning that there is a verger, appointed by the 300 enclaved persons living in the village of Rizokarpaso, looking after the church on a daily basis.
The decision to close down the church of the Holy Trinity is causing a great deal of anxiety and grief to the enclaved persons and especially the elderly ones amongst them who have for decades, all their lives, practiced their religion in this very church and should be allowed to continue to freely exercise their right to do so in the future. The shutting down of the church is tantamount to a denial of the enclaved persons’ right to practice freely their religion and as such a violation of their human rights under the European Convention of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms to which Turkey is a signatory.
Furthermore, there exists information that there have been implemented more religious limitations for the local Christians such as:
- The forbiddance of performing any Christian Masses except on Sundays
- Written permission must be acquired from the “local authorities” in order to perform any Christian Mass at the Monastery of Saint Andrews that is near the village and at any other church in the village.
On behalf of an initiative group of citizens of Rizokarpaso
00357 99 689255
Letters to British High Commissioner & FCO - Agia Triada
5th July 2010
His Excellency Matthew Kidd
Dear Mr Kidd
I am writing on behalf of the Executive Committee and members of the Association of Rizokarpasso in Britain, all of whom are British Citizens and many are second, third or fourth generation. However, our roots, through our parents and grandparents are in Rizokarpasso. Our Association’s key objective is to support and to highlight the plight of 260 enclaved Greek Cypriot people in Rizokarpasso which, as you know, like the rest of northern Cyprus, was invaded by Turkish troops in 1974 and remains under Turkish army occupation. They are denied basic human rights and fundamental freedoms contrary to the Third Vienna Agreement between Mr. Clerides and Mr.
Denktash in August 1975. The plight of the enclaved has been exacerbated by the transportation of settlers from Turkey to occupy the homes and properties of the 4,500 Greek Cypriots in Rizokarpasso who were forced to leave following the Turkish invasion. We also wish to promote progress towards a solution to the injustice that the small island of Cyprus has suffered from for the last 36 years as a result of Turkey’s invasion, occupation, colonisation and expansionist policy. Obviously, any solution must return properties to their legal owners, without delay, to be acceptable.
We were appalled to hear on the news today of yet another infringement of the human rights of the enclaved. The illegal Turkish administration is openly denying the fundamental human right of freedom to worship and has said that from now on the priest must seek prior permission in order to be able to conduct a religious service in the church of Ayia Triada. Furthermore, the news stated that the daily helpers who travel to Rizokarpasso to look after the elderly are from now on forbidden to do so – what will become of the elderly enclaved who require daily assistance? Surely, this is a tactic to drive out the few remaining enclaved Greek Cypriots from their homes and so totally change the demography of the occupied area leaving no Greek Cypriots in a village that was totally Greek Cypriot in 1974. I am sure that you are aware of the desecration of our churches and cemetaries as well as the systematic destruction of our cultural heritage by the occupying forces and settlers; is this acceptable behaviour of a country that aspires to join the EU?
We ask that you use your influence to put pressure on the illegal administration and occupying forces to allow the enclaved freedom to worship, allow the priest to hold religious services in the churches without needing permission and allow the daily helpers to travel to Rizokarpasso in order to care for our elderly enclaved.
Thanking you in anticipation of your kind assistance.
Mrs Mary Helen Karaolis OBE BEd(Hons) MA NPQH FCollT
Copy: Stephen McCormick, FCO, London
5th July 2010
I enclose a letter sent to the British High Commissioner in Cyprus, Matthew Kidd, by our Association.
You will note from the content of the enclosed letter that we are very concerned at the latest actions of the illegal regime and occupying forces.
We would grateful if the FCO could exert their influence on the illegal administration and occupying forces to allow the enclaved freedom to worship, allow the priest to hold religious services in the churches without needing permission and allow the daily helpers to travel to Rizokarpasso in order to care for our elderly enclaved.
Thanking you in anticipation of your kind assistance.
Mrs Mary Helen Karaolis OBE BEd(Hons) MA NPQH FCollT
The 26th Annual PSEKA Conference (Co-ordinating Committee - Justice for Cyprus) took place in Washington from 25th to 27th May. PSEKA is part of POMAK (World Federation of Overseas Cypriots) of which Haris Sophoclides is President. PSEKA meets annually both in the USA and in Cyprus (August) in order to co-ordinate the efforts of overseas Cypriots and Hellenes in seeking the implementation of human rights, the return of the refugees, the withdrawal of the Turkish troops and a just and viable solution for Cyprus.
The President of PSEKA is Philip Christopher.
The conference also encompasses relevant Hellenic and Orthodox issues, mainly of Human Rights, Religious Tolerance and Freedom. This was particularly with regard to the Patriarchate and the continuing closure of the Seminary in Halki, Turkey.
Meeting in the USA and, especially, in the heart of American politics in Washington, in the Senate and on Capitol Hill, is particularly significant in that both the U.S. and the U.K. Governments have important roles to play on the Cyprus issue and it is relevant that we communicate closely with Members of the American Congress and Senate in the U.S. and with our Members of Parliament in the U.K.
Amongst Cypriots representing the U.S. were:-
Philip Christopher – President PSEKA;
Panicos Papanicolaou – Supreme President, Cyprus Federation of America;
Nicos Mouyiaris – Exec.Vice President, Pancyprian Association of America;
Tassos Zambas – Alternate President, PSEKA
Andreas Komodromos & Savvas Tsivikos
American Cypriots do excellent work in lobbying their Congressmen/women and Senators. There are approximately 70,000 Greek Cypriots in America but they are supported by over two million Greek Americans.
Representatives of the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK were:-
Haris Sophoclides President of the World Federation of Overseas Cypriots
Susie Constantinides Executive Member & Chair of Cypriot Women’s League UK
Maria Karaolis Secretariat Member & President of the Rizokarpasso Assn
Andreas Karaolis Executive Secretary National Federation
As Peter Droussiotis, President of the National Federation, was unable to attend, Susie Constantinides, who chairs the Activities Committee, was asked to present the UK’s Report. The UK has the largest concentration of Cypriots outside Cyprus, estimated at 400,000.
Nicos Kodjamanis and Costas Evangelou represented the Morphou District Assn as Chair and Vice-Chair;
Maria Kokkinou Boege represented the World Federation of Overseas Maronites as President;
Theo Theodorou, as Co-ordinator and George Mouktaris represented Lobby for Cyprus.
Amongst Cypriots representing Canada were:-
Athina Charalambides – President of the Cypriot Federation of Canada
Dinos Sophocleos – President of PSEKA Canada
Amongst the Hellenes representing the U.S. were:-
Andrew Athens – Hon. President, World Council of Hellenes (SAE) and Chair of UHAC;
Andrew Manatos – President, National Co-ordinated Effort of Hellenes (CEH)
George Tsunis – Executive Board Member, National Co-ordinated Effort of Hellenes
Representatives of the Government of Cyprus
The conference particularly welcomed Stephanos Stephanou, Cyprus Government Spokesman, who has been before to Washington;. Also present were:-
The Mayors of occupied Famagusta and Lefkoniko, Alexis Galanos and Michael Pilikos;
Ourania Beletie, Councillor of the Municipality of Morphou
Nicos Falas, President Co-ordinating Committee of Karpasia
Nicos Theodossiou – Chair, Commitee Relatives of Missing Persons
Andreas Kakouris – Ambassador of Cyprus in the U.S., who is London born and raised and who clearly understands the psychology of both the American and British political scenario, which is an excellent advantage for Cyprus
Representatives of the Government of Greece
Vasilis Kaskarelis, Ambassador of Greece to the U.S.;
Eva Kaili, Members of the Hellenic Parliament
Member of the Canadian Parliament
Representatives met in the Capitol with 34 Members of Congress representing states such as California, Florida, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Nevada, Ohio, Rhode Island, Illinois.
It was interesting that out of the 34, 21 were older established Members of Congress whom we have met before, support Cyprus, and included:-
Howard Berman – Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee
Carolyn Maloney – Irish American
Shelley Berkley – Greek American/Jewish, whose grandfather was from Salonika
Donald Payne – African American
Frank Pallone – Italian American
John Sarbanes – Greek American (son of Senator Paul Sarbanes, now retired)
Gus Billerakis – Greek American (son of Mike Billerakis, now retired)
Zack Space – Greek American,whose grandfather fought in the 1st World War.
PSEKA invited 13 new and younger Members of Congress to support us. As the U.K. Federation, we plan to meet with our new Members of Parliament who have just been elected.
Posthumous Honouree – Former Senator Edward Kennedy – Accepted by son Congressman Patrick Kennedy, who clearly stated “The Cyprus problem is not a Cyprus issue, it’s a Human Rights issue”.
Representatives also met with 13 Senators including:
Robert Menendez – Cuban American, who succeeded Paul Sarbanes as Senior Senator (Democrats) and is Chair of the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee’s International Development & Foreign Assistance Sub-Committee and European Affairs Sub-committee.
Senator Menendez came to the World Conference in Cyprus last year, when he re-committed himself to working for the removal of Turkish troops from Cyprus, for the reunification of Cyprus and stressed the importance of the sovereignty of Cyprus
Olympia Snow – Greek-American – Senate Select Intelligence Committee
Vice-President Joe Biden in the White House
The Vice-President, Joe Biden, confirmed that whatever he committed to previously still holds firm, e.g. Turkish troops out of Cyprus, Turkey must face her responsibilities with regard to Cyprus.
President Demetris Christofias’ Dedication
All the Members of Congress, Senators and the State Department, plus the delegates, praised the continuing patience and dedication of President Christofias in seeking a Just Solution for Cyprus.
A Solution to Cyprus is in Turkey’s own Interest
The State Department – Deputy Secretary of State, James Steinberg – as did many others, stated that a Solution to Cyprus is in Turkey’s best interest. He also reported that the State Department has told Mr. Erdogan this.
Support for the Talks
At the point of the conference, they were not sure of Mr. Eroglu’s stance but expressed the hope that he will continue the work of Mr Talat and to work positively with President Christofias for a just and viable solution. All remarked that the shadow of Turkey constricts these talks. Turkey must understand that the re-unification of Cyprus is a priority for the U.S. Whilst saying that the Cypriots must discuss the solution between them, the U.S. is willing to facilitate and help in any way which is needed.
Withdrawal of Turkish Troops from Cyprus
All committed themselves to working for the removal of Turkish troops from Cyprus. It is now an accepted fact that the 43,000 Turkish occupying troops outnumber the American troops in Afghanistan.
The Sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus
All stressed the importance of the sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus.
Time to Put Pressure on Turkey
This was repeated by many of the Members of Congress and the Senate.
One of the Congressmen commented that “enough is enough!” He continued:-
Why does American tolerate a country such as Turkey which:-
Does not recognise the legitimate Government of the Republic of Cyprus
Blocks the progress of the talks for the Solution of Cyprus;
Has allowed the destruction and desecration of the churches and cemeteries in occupied Cyprus;
Denies the rights of the Greek Cypriot refugees to their properties;
Does not allow Religious Freedom and Human Rights for the Patriarchy and has confiscated lands belonging to the Patriarchy;
Will not re-open the Seminary – School in Halki;
Denies the genocide of the Armenians.
Destruction of Cyprus’ Cultural Heritage in the Occupied Area – Churches and Cemeteries – Seeing this at First Hand
Several Congressmen who have visited Cyprus and went to the occupied area were shocked that churches have been looted, destroyed, turned into stables, etc. They were even more shocked with the desecration of graves in the cemeteries.
This was compared with the care and attention of the Tekke in Larnaca and other mosques by the Cyprus Government.
James (Demetris) Karygiannis, Canadian MP, commented that UNESCO has not visited the occupied area to see this destruction and feels that all should write to them to impress upon them that they should. (Emails can be sent to UNESCO via http://cyprusculturaldestruction.com/home).
Many commented that property must be returned to the rightful owners.
Co-sponsors of the House of Representatives are pursuing a Bill for the protection of property in the occupied area of Cyprus.
Stephanos Stephanou, Cyprus’ Government Spokesman covered many points, including the fact that his presence at the PSEKA conference acknowledges President Christofias’ respect for the role and work of PSEKA and all the overseas organisations. This acknowledgement by President Christofias was well received by conference participants and politicians alike.
This is the same respect and appreciation expressed by President Demetris Christofias for UK Cypriots during his meeting in London, on 15th May, organised by the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK.
It is very important for President Christofias and Mr. Eroglu to continue the talks and discuss issues as Cypriots. However, Turkey sticks to her own agenda and, therefore, the International Community should persuade Turkey that it is in her own interest to solve the Cyprus problem which will also open the road for her accession to the E.U.
Turkish-Cypriots are outnumbered by the illegal settlers from Turkey in occupied Cyprus.
Nicos Theodossiou reported that, whilst progress has been made with the discovery and identifying of some of the Missing, this progress is slow and needs pressure on Turkey to be more co-operative for this very Humanitarian issue. This was echoed by one of the Congressmen who has visited Cyprus recently and found this whole issue of the Missing enormously “sad”.
Cyprus’ Importance to the US
All were reminded that this is the 50th year of the bi-lateral association (agreement) between the U.S. and Cyprus and that Cyprus is important to the U.S. as follows:-
· A strong United Cyprus is in the interest of the US for both political and geo-strategic reasons
· Cyprus is the bridge from Europe to the Middle East
· Trade, Business enterprise, Exploration, e.g. Gas
· Used by US Fleets & US Air Force use air space
· American Soldiers and Sailors recuperate in Cyprus after tour of duty in Afghanistan
· Cyprus rescued 14,000 Americans from Lebanon
· Close co-operation between US and Cyprus to combat Terrorism
· Close co-operation between US and Cyprus against drug trafficking
The Value of a United Cyprus
This was reiterated by many of the speakers who said that a united Cyprus will be a strong ally for the U.S. They stressed the need for Turkey to do the right thing as far as Cyprus is concerned, to respect the UN resolutions and acknowledge the fact that Cyprus is a European Member State.
Susie Constantinides, Maria Karaolis, Andreas Karaolis
National Federation of Cypriots in the UK