Action Alert: U.S. Congressional Delegation to Visit the Illegally Occupied Area of Cyprus in Early June Arriving Directly through Illegal Tymbou Airport from Turkey

HCS readers are invited to read the background provided by AHI below and then to participate in the action alert by contacting appropriate members of their Congressional delegation as outlined following the briefing.


It has come to the attention of the American Hellenic Institute (AHI) that a delegation of U.S. Representatives led by Congressman Bob Wexler (D-FL) and Edward Whitfield (R-KY) are planning to visit the illegally occupied area of Cyprus sometime during the first week of June arriving through the illegal Tymbou airport in occupied Cyprus directly from Turkey, which they plan to visit first. The Tymbou airport was built on property illegally taken from its lawful owners during the Turkish invasion.

The American Hellenic Institute (AHI), on behalf of its nationwide membership, is vehemently opposed to this trip through the illegal Tymbou airport which violates U.S. law and international law and does not serve the best interests of the United States in support of a proper solution to the reunification of Cyprus. In addition, this establishes a bad precedent by our elected lawmakers, who are sworn to protect and uphold the laws of our nation and to respect the laws of other sovereign nations.

The AHI strongly supports congressional visits to Cyprus, including the occupied area of Cyprus in the north, if they are done in a manner consistent with international law and U.S. law. The internationally recognized government of the Republic of Cyprus facilitates such visits from a legal and internationally recognized airport in the Republic of Cyprus, such as Larnaca and Paphos airports, to the various crossing points in the UN monitored buffer zone.

As forces around the world continue to challenge our values, principles and laws, a key weapon of democracy is the rule of law. If our own lawmakers do not support the rule of law, then what example are we displaying for the rest of world?

If Members of the House of Representatives take part in this trip through the illegal Tymbou airport instead of through the legal airports of Larnaca or Paphos, it places those Members in a position of aiding and abetting the violation of the laws of the Republic of Cyprus, a friendly nation who has helped the U.S. substantially on many important occasions. It further lends endorsement of the illegal occupation and violation of human rights by Turkey in Cyprus.

Finally, this trip would have an adverse effect against the legitimate government of Cyprus. A message would be sent that certain U.S. Congressmen do not support a resolution of the Cyprus problem that is consistent with UN resolutions and the rule of law. A viable solution to the Cyprus problem that is just and equitable to both sides would undoubtedly set a great example for the region, but supporting this trip will only serve to exacerbate the problem.

  1. Read the letter sent by AHI to members of Congress protesting this planned trip.
  2. Contact the 6 Members that AHI has been able to identify as expressing interest in participating on the trip and request that they not participate if they fly directly into the illegal Tymbou airport. Make sure that you encourage them to go to Cyprus, and even in the occupied area, however only through the internationally recognized legal airports of Larnaca; and
  3. Contact your own Representative to make him/her aware of this trip and if they have received an invitation, not to accept.

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