JULY 23, 2008

  • Mr. LINCOLN DIAZ-BALART of Florida. Madam Speaker, today I rise to recall the brutal invasion of Cyprus that occurred thirty-four years ago on July 20, 1974.
  • The people of Cyprus continue to suffer the consequences of that contemptible invasion. Even now, Turkish troops continue to illegally occupy Cyprus. The island remains torn by a militarized fence that slices a 113-mile line across the island.
  • I encourage both sides to fully comply with the guiding principles of the July 8, 2006 agreement. This agreement seeks to establish working groups that can operate together to reunify Cyprus into one bizonal, bicommunal federation. The July 8 agreement is an important achievement which gives us great cause to remain optimistic that a resolution is possible.
  • While we can mark the significance of the July 8 agreement, we cannot celebrate until the goal of a unified Cyprus is fully and finally realized. We cannot celebrate until the anniversary of the July 20 invasion is no longer a source of pain for Cypriots, and barbed wire fence no longer splits Cyprus into two disparate sections. The United States, the European Union, and the United Nations have all expressed their support for a solution that will reunify Cyprus. With the steadfast determination of the international community and the people of Cyprus, we will persist until the goal of a free, undivided Cyprus is realized at last.
  • Madam Speaker, I remain hopeful that Cyprus will once again be free and undivided. After thirty-four years of division, illegal occupation and oppression, the long-suffering Cypriot people deserve to live in freedom and unity today.