In a joint letter by major Greek-American organizations, leaders of the Greek community in the United States urge US President Joe Biden to send a clear message to Turkey that Washington will not tolerate further abuse of sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus.
The letter was prompted by the upcoming 47th anniversary of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, with Greek leaders taking the opportunity to express to President Biden their concern about the new and renewed threats from Recep Tayyip Erdogan towards Cyprus.
“We urge you to warn President Erdogan against further aggression against Cyprus and to send a clear message that Turkey will face punitive and severe consequences if further actions are taken against the Republic of Cyprus, which threatens its sovereignty and provoke instability.
In addition, we strongly urge the United States administration to urge the United Nations to exercise its jurisdiction over Varosha,” the letter said.
The presidents of the ten Greek-American organizations pointed out that UN Security Council Resolution 550 (1984) explicitly stated an attempt to change the status of Varosha requires the transfer of the region to the United Nations administration.
In addition, they reminded President Biden that the US government reaffirmed its support on October 9, 2020, as it approved the statement of the President of the United Nations Security Council and asked Turkey to withdraw all its plans for Varosha.
In light of this, they urge the United States to use its position as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council to ask the United Nations to exercise its sovereignty over Varosha.
“To this end, we call on your government to ask the United Nations to enforce UN Security Council Resolution 550, under which Varosha would be under UN control,” he said.
Moreover, the leaders of the Greek community link the plans for the opening of Varos with the support expressed by the Turkish side in the solution of the “two states,” which violates the positions of both the United Nations and the US government.
In this light, the actions in Varosha are interpreted as a lack of sincere interest in resuming serious talks, which will move within the UN-defined negotiating framework.
At this point, the Greek diaspora pointed out that Turkey had not reversed its actions regarding Varosha.
For this reason, they argue that immediate action is needed, which will not be limited to simple rhetoric and criticism of Turkey.
“It is essential that the United States administration and the international community take precautionary measures to prevent further illegal actions by Turkish expansionists against Cyprus.
A failure to act will only encourage President Erdogan to pursue a ‘two-state’ solution in Cyprus, which would be a disaster for the people of Cyprus and not in the interest of the United States.
It would be a gross violation of the rule of law and the fundamental principles of the United States and the international community.”
The letter presents the actions for the opening of Varosha and the proposal for the division of the Republic of Cyprus as a combined threat to the national sovereignty of Cyprus, which is equal to the Turkish invasion of 1974. The letter is signed by the heads of AHEPA, AHI, PSEKA, Federation of Cypriot Organizations of America, HALC, Cyprus – U.S. Chamber of Commerce, American Hellenic Council of California, Panhellenic Federation of Florida, PanCyprian Association of Florida.
Joe Biden’s personal involvement with the Cyprus issue
The leaders of the Greek community reminded President Biden of his long-term engagement with the Cyprus issue and noted that he was now able to make it a high priority of US foreign policy.
In fact, it was Joe Biden who, on January 27, 1989, sent a letter to the then President of the AHI, Dean Lomis, saying pressure should be put on the Bush administration to make Cyprus a high priority.
In a letter sent by then-senator Joe Biden, he stated, among other things: “We cannot overlook the fact that the rights of the Greek Cypriot have been violated, and we must ensure that their claims for the land and properties seized in 1974 cannot be disregarded. Finally, we must send the message to Turkey that until it removes its last soldier from Cyprus, it will never be recognized as a full member of the international community.”