US Senate urges US-EU response to Turkish provocations in Varosha

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14 Senators in the United States are urging the Joe Biden administration to utilize both bilateral and multilateral channels to pressure Turkey into withdrawing its advancements in Varosha. 

US Senate Foreign Relations committee chairman Bob Menendez, Senator Chris Van Hollen, and Senator Marco Rubio, are leading the charge. 

They cite Turkey’s contravention of several United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolutions and defiance of calls from the UNSC and the European Council to “immediately reverse course”. 

Varosha is an abandoned southern quarter of the Cypriot city of Famagusta. It’s remained abandoned since the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974. 

Joining Chairman Menendez and Senators Van Hollen and Rubio in signing the letter were Senators Dick Durbin, Jeanne Shaheen, Chris Coons, Sheldon Whitehouse, Sherrod Brown, Ed Markey, Cory Booker, Bob Casey, Ron Wyden, Jack Reed, and Ben Cardin.

They write in the letter

“You have rightly cantered U.S. foreign policy on principles of human rights and the rule of law. Any attempt by President Erdogan and Turkey to resettle or reopen Varosha would represent a gross violation of those principles.”

“The U.S. and the EU should make clear to President Erdogan that continuing to violate UNSC Resolutions and the rule of law is unacceptable.”

“The Turkish Cypriots’ proposal to establish two-states in Cyprus at the most recent round in Geneva—the first since negotiations broke down in 2017—undermined prospects to reunify Cyprus as a bizonal, bicommunal federation, in accordance with UNSC Resolutions and long-standing policy. As further evidence of its unwillingness to seek a durable political settlement on the island, Turkey has reportedly established a base for unmanned aerial vehicles at Lefkoniko airport, in an effort to expand its military presence in Turkish-occupied Cyprus.”

“We urge you to work in tandem with the EU to make clear, in advance, that any attempt by Turkey to support the resettlement or reopening of Varosha will be met by multilateral sanctions.”

Source: Bob Menedez

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