AHI Congratulates U.S. Senate on Its Support of Cyprus' EU Accession
WASHINGTON, DC -- The American Hellenic Institute (AHI) applauds the United States Senate on its November 18 unanimous approval of a resolution (S.Con.Res. 122) that endorses the accession of Cyprus to the European Union (EU) and calls for the reunification of the Republic of Cyprus.
The Senate initiative resolves that "the current status quo on Cyprus must be ended and the island and its people be reunited, in a bizonal, bicommunal federal Cyprus, with full consideration of United Nations Security Council resolutions and international treaties." It also affirms that, "while a successful resolution of the Cyprus problem would facilitate the accession of Cyprus to the European Union, in the absence of such a resolution, the accession of Cyprus to the European Union could act as a further catalyst for the solution of the Cyprus problem without the latter being a precondition for accession and with all relevant factors being considered."
S.Con.Res. 122 urges all Cypriots "to support and encourage efforts to bring the Republic of Cyprus into the European Union," and calls on the various agencies of the U.S. Government to support UN efforts to facilitate a settlement and to pursue a settlement as an issue of "high priority."
AHI Chairman James Marketos applauded the Senate's initiative, stating:
"We are at a crucial juncture in the history of Cyprus on the eve of Cyprus' accession to the EU at the upcoming Copenhagen Summit on December 12-13. The Senate resolution sends a strong message to the international community that the U.S. strongly supports Cyprus' EU membership bid without preconditions, and reaffirms its support of a reunified island as a bizonal, bicommunal federation, as outlined in UN Security Council resolutions."
AHI sends special thanks to Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME), who sponsored the resolution, and to the resolution's co-sponsors who include: Senator Joseph Biden (D-DE), Senator Paul Sarbanes (D-MD), Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Senator Robert Torricelli (D-NJ), Senator John F. Kerry (D-MA), Senator Jean Carnahan (D-MO), Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA), Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD), Senator Jon Corzine (D-NJ), Senator Tim Harkin (D-LA), and Senator Thomas R. Carper (D-DE).
The text of the Senate Resolution on Cyprus (S.Con.Res. 122) follows. For additional information, please contact Chrysoula Economopoulos at (202) 785-8430 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. For general information on AHI, please view our website at http://www.ahiworld.org.
S. Con. Res. 122
Whereas the current status quo on Cyprus remains unacceptable and the reunification of Cyprus remains a desirable foreign policy objective;
Whereas a just and lasting resolution of the Cyprus problem, in full consideration of United Nations Security Council resolutions and international treaties, must safeguard the security and fundamental rights of the population of Cyprus, Greek-Cypriots and Turkish-Cypriots alike;
Whereas Cyprus is among the leading candidate countries for accession to the European Union, in recognition of its commitment to free markets, human rights, democracy, and the rule of law;
Whereas the European Union guarantees to all its citizens the indivisible universal values of human dignity (supporting fair and equal treatment of all), freedom (right to security, marriage, family, among others), equality (celebrating cultural, religious, and linguistic diversity), solidarity (protecting workers' rights and providing social security), citizens' rights (voting), and justice (holding a fair trial);
Whereas membership in the European Union will guarantee each citizen of the Republic of Cyprus important legal, civil, and human rights, as well as the means and legal recourse necessary to secure the full application of these fundamental individual rights, and to promote the respect of cultural diversity and traditions;
Whereas membership in the European Union will bring significant benefits to both Greek-Cypriots and Turkish-Cypriots, including new economic opportunities, access to new markets, a freer exchange of goods and services, balanced and sustainable development as well as the free movement of persons, goods, and services and capital;
Whereas the European Council in its Summit Conclusions of December 1999, in Helsinki, stated that ``a political settlement [of the Cyprus problem] will facilitate the accession of Cyprus to the European Union .. . . [i]f no settlement has been reached by the completion of accession negotiations, the Council's decision on accession will be made without the above being a precondition . . . [i]n this the Council will take account of all relevant factors'';
Whereas both the United States and the European Union in their summit statement on the New Transatlantic Agenda of June 14, 2001, pledge to continue to work together to support the efforts of the United Nations Secretary General to achieve a comprehensive settlement with respect to Cyprus in full consideration of relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions and international treaties;
Whereas the Greek and Turkish Cypriot leadership began direct talks on January 16, 2002, with the United Nations Special Advisor in attendance and the European Council at the Seville Conference in June 2002 called on the Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders to intensify and expedite their talks in order to seize the unique opportunity to reach a comprehensive settlement; and
Whereas resolution of the Cyprus problem is also consistent with American values, as enshrined in the rights guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States, which guarantees the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), That it is the sense of Congress that--
(1) the current status quo on Cyprus must be ended and the island and its people be reunited, in a bizonal, bicommunal federal Cyprus, with full consideration of United Nations Security Council resolutions and international treaties;
(2) the direct and intensive negotiations between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders, which began in January 2002, and which are continuing on a regular basis, have been most welcome and are encouraged to continue until a comprehensive settlement has been achieved;
(3) while a successful resolution of the Cyprus problem would facilitate the accession of Cyprus to the European Union, in the absence of such a resolution, the accession of Cyprus to the European Union could act as a further catalyst for the solution of the Cyprus problem without the latter being a precondition for accession and with all relevant factors being considered;
(4) membership of the Republic of Cyprus in the European Union should be strongly supported;
(5) all Cypriots be urged to support and encourage efforts to bring the Republic of Cyprus into the European Union; and
(6) the various agencies of the United States Government in support of United Nations efforts to facilitate a settlement should pursue as an issue of high priority new initiatives that will help promote and achieve reunification, reconciliation, stability, and prosperity on Cyprus.