American Hellenic Institute


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In Letter To Secretary Albright About Cyprus, AHI Urges U.S. To Reject Aggression, Veto Division Of Cyprus Into Two Sovereignties And To Implement UN Resolutions
September 15, 2000 No. 45/00 (202) 785-8430

In Letter To Secretary Albright About Cyprus, AHI Urges U.S. To Reject Aggression, Veto Division Of Cyprus Into Two Sovereignties And To Implement UN Resolutions

On September 15, 2000 American Hellenic Institute General Counsel Eugene T. Rossides sent a letter to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright about the Cyprus problem. The text is as follows:

"The opening of the fourth round of proximity talks about Cyprus on September 12, 2000 is a welcome development. There may be a real opportunity to engage in substantive talks and to thus make progress on an issue which, as we all agree, has been on the international agenda for far too long.

As detailed negotiations begin, it is imperative that the United States does not lose sight of the underlying reality. Cyprus is an issue of illegal invasion and occupation of a sovereign state by Turkey. As such, fundamental American values and principles are at stake. Aggression must not be allowed to stand. For the U.S. to support Turkey in this matter would be a tragic betrayal of these principles.

The 1992 Clinton/Gore campaign statement pledged:

"The United States and the world community will not accept the permanent division of Cyprus. The search for a just and viable solution to the Cyprus problem must be vigorously pursued. Such a Cyprus settlement should be consistent with the fundamental principles of human rights and democratic norms and practices. Accordingly, a Cyprus settlement can be just and viable only if it provides for the withdrawal of Turkish occupation forces; satisfactorily accounts for all American and Greek Cypriots missing since 1974; provides for the rights of refugees; ensures the sovereign independence and territorial integrity of the state; and establishes a democratic constitution which respects and guarantees the rights of both communities."

The time is long overdue to put this pledge into practice.

Further, the search for a Cyprus settlement has a long history. During the years since 1974 the international community, including the U.S., has settled on the concept of a "bizonal, bicommunal federation with a single international personality" as the key to a settlement. We must adhere strictly to this principle. There can be no question of two sovereignties in Cyprus.

As we enter this crucial period, it is imperative that there is no confusion about where the U.S. stands. I urge you therefore to instruct Ambassador Richard Holbrooke to issue a clear and unambiguous statement rejecting aggression, vetoing a division of the island into two sovereignties and committing our nation to a Cyprus settlement based on the relevant Security Council Resolutions that provide for a bizonal, bicommunal federation with a single sovereignty. This statement should also make clear that the U.S. will not accept any efforts by the UN Secretary-General or other officials to redefine or reinterpret the international community's established position as set out in UN resolutions.

I also attach a statement of AHI's position on the Cyprus problem. (click here)

I am sending a copy of this letter to President Clinton and Vice-President Gore."

Copies of the letter were sent to President Clinton, Vice-President Gore and to the House of Representatives and Senate.

The letter also forwarded a copy of AHI's position on Cyprus. The full text of this may be found on AHI's website (click here).