KEATING, FITZPATRICK STATEMENT ON OPENING OF VAROSHA
Today, Chair Bill Keating and Ranking Member Brian Fitzpatrick released a statement condemning Turkish Cypriot actions, with the support of Turkey, to further reopen the Cypriot town of Varosha. The town has been abandoned since the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974, and a 1984 UN Security Council Resolution declared any attempts to settle Varosha by individuals other than its original inhabitants as inadmissible. On July 20, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community, Ersin Tatar, announced plans to further reopen and resettle Varosha in defiance of international agreements.
“We echo our colleagues in the State Department, the UN, and the EU in condemning Turkish Cypriot and Government of Turkey actions in Varosha and offer our unwavering support for a Cypriot-led comprehensive settlement to reunify the island as a bizonal, bicommunal federation,” said Chair Keating and Ranking Member Fitzpatrick. “The people of Cyprus are seeking peace, dialogue, and a constructive way forward. The international community has invested a great deal of time and effort into finding a sustainable and equitable solution in line with the wishes of the Cypriot people, and we regret to see this progress being jeopardized by this breach of international law. These actions pose a serious risk of inflaming tensions on the island, and we call on President Erdogan and Leader Tatar to immediately reverse this decision before further damage is done.”