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Public Statements

The Situation in Cyprus

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Ms. JACKSON LEE. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent to address the House for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks.

There is much happening in Cyprus. Turkish Cypriots completed their elections on Sunday, July 28, and a new government must now be formed.

I congratulate them for this exercise in the democratic process, which has been a major focus on the northern part of the island. Meanwhile, the Greek Cypriot government has been going through a period of economic turmoil and restructuring that has dominated public debate.

It is my hope that when matters settle down in the months ahead, the two sides will be able to resume productive reunification talks that resolve longstanding issues about the structure of government and the quality of life on the island of Cyprus.

From March 2008 through May 2012, serious reunification talks occurred, often under the direct supervision of former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. These talks have been suspended for more than a year through the economic crises faced by the island, but there is some room for hope that discussions can restart this fall.

I rise today to urge this Administration to promote such discussions and join in the efforts to reach a reunification agreement on the island of Cyprus that benefits both Cypriot communities.

Such progress will be of great benefit to the world community. It will also directly serve to remove a source of friction between two NATO allies, Turkey and Greece. It is my hope that a bizonal, bicommunal federation agreement that establishes a strong, functioning democracy can be reached in the near future.

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