The ongoing negotiations which aim to reunify Cyprus deserve the attention and support of the United States and the European Union, including funding for confidence building measures to promote peace in Cyprus US Senator and Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee Robert Menendez has said.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu have been engaged in UN backed talks since February in an effort to reach a solution and reunite the island under a federal roof.
In a written statement Menendez, who met, on Thursday with Cyprus Minister of Foreign Affairs Ioannis Kasoulides in Washigton, added that US Vice President Biden`s visit to Cyprus next week is an expression of the US government`s commitment to this issue.
“This July marks the 40th anniversary of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus and today Foreign Minister Kasoulides briefed me on his government’s ongoing efforts to end the occupation and reunify the island”, he says.
These negotiations, he stresses, “deserve the attention and support of the United States and the European Union, including funding for confidence building measures to promote peace in Cyprus”.
Vice President Biden`s visit to Cyprus next week, he continues, “is an expression of the U.S. government`s commitment to this issue”.
Menendez also refers to European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) judgment on Monday, noting that “this week, the European Court of Human Rights issued a judgment that the Turkish government should pay $124 million in compensation to Cyprus for human rights abuses committed during the 1974 invasion”.
Cyprus, he concludes, “deserves to enjoy full political freedom and economic prosperity, and that requires having Turkey acknowledge the past to ensure a more hopeful future for all”.
The ECHR ruled on Monday that the Turkey is obliged to pay 90 ml euros to the Republic of Cyprus for the violation of human rights during and after the 1974 invasion of the island.
Of the total sum, 30 mln euros concern non-pecuniary damage suffered by the relatives of the missing persons, or relatives of missing persons and 60 mln euros concern non-pecuniary damage suffered by the enclaved Greek Cypriot residents of the Turkish-occupied Karpas peninsula, in the island`s north-eastern tip.
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