Nominee to become US ambassador to Turkey Jeff Flake has committed to speak out both publicly and privately against Ankara’s UN violations in Cyprus.
Flake was replying to a question by President of the US Senate Committee of Foreign Relations, Bob Menendez, during a recent Committee hearing on ambassador nominees.
“More than 35,000 Turkish troops remain in northern Cyprus, now almost five decades after Turkey first invaded in 1974,” Menendez said.
“President Erdogan now pushes for a two – state solution, something that is not recognised by the UN, something that is not recognised by our government and flagrantly violates UN Security Council resolutions on the occupied section of Varosha,” he added.
He then asked Flake whether he would commit to speak out publicly and privately in the event that Turkey continues to violate Cyprus’ EEZ and the reply was “I will”.
Flake also said: “I was pleased to see after the December visit by Erdogan to Cyprus that the United States spoke out, as did the UN, that any of the actions that was contemplated with Varosha for example would violate Security Council resolutions 550 and 789”.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. Numerous UN backed talks to reunite the island have failed to yield results.
UN Security Council resolution 550 (1984) considers any attempts to settle any part of Varosha by people other than its inhabitants as inadmissible and calls for the transfer of this area to the administration of the UN.
Resolution 789 (1992) also urges that with a view to the implementation of resolution 550 (1984), the area at present under the control of the United Nations Peace-keeping Force in Cyprus be extended to include Varosha.
Turkish Cypriot leader, Ersin Tatar, announced in July a partial lifting of the military status in Varosha.