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Public Statements

Resolution of Disagreements About Cyprus

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Ms. FOXX. Mr. Speaker, there is a need to respond to recent comments that have been made by some of my colleagues involving issues of concern to Cyprus.

We all agree that a comprehensive and sustainable resolution of disagreements about Cyprus is long overdue. Such a solution must allow both the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities to participate in all aspects of the island's national life and government while respecting the rights and political equality of all Cypriots preserved in a renewed partnership state.

Of concern to me are statements by some that Turkish Cypriots, and the Republic of Turkey itself, are obstacles to any forward progress.

Without rehashing the history that brought about the current situation on Cyprus, it should be made clear that the Turkish government has, on multiple occasions, welcomed the resolution of these issues which guarantees the equal rights of the Turkish Cypriot community. Turkish Cypriots voted overwhelmingly in favor of the U.N. Comprehensive Peace Plan (known as Annan Plan) in 2004, demonstrating their sincere desire to move beyond the painful past. Despite this genuine determination to incorporate, not only within the life of the island, but within the wider European and global communities, the U.N. proposal was overwhelmingly rejected by the Greek Cypriot side. Incredibly, one week after missing one of the most significant opportunities to reach a comprehensive solution to these longstanding problems, the Greek Cypriots were awarded with membership in the European Union.

As a result, the Greek Cypriot community, as the Republic of Cyprus, now enjoys full membership status in the European Union including all associated rights and privileges as well as membership in the wider, global community. It is time to end the isolation and embargoes imposed upon the Turkish Cypriot community and secure a negotiated political settlement, agreed to by both parties, that allows all Cypriots to build a common future together.

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