Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD)

July 22, 2008


   Ms. MIKULSKI. Madam President, I rise to commemorate the 34th anniversary of Turkey's invasion of the island of Cyprus. Today, Cyprus remains a divided island, with a third of the territory still occupied by Turkish forces.

   Over the years, numerous United Nations resolutions have called for the respect of the sovereignty and independence of the Republic of Cyprus and for an immediate end to the Turkish occupation. The Government and people of Cyprus are ready to make compromises to achieve peace and to reunify the island. We must continue to stand with them to fight for a fair and reasonable agreement--one that safeguards basic freedoms and human rights for all Cypriots.

   I am proud of the partnership we have with the Republic of Cyprus. During the evacuation of Lebanon in 2006, Cyprus served as the primary transit location for some 15,000 U.S. citizens and was the launching point for humanitarian aid to the people of Lebanon. As a member of the European Union, the Government of Cyprus has worked to improve the economic viability of all its citizens and has taken important steps to integrate the Turkish-Cypriot community.

   Madam President, I welcome the renewed interest in the efforts for a comprehensive and fair solution to reunify Cyprus. I urge the Government of Turkey to cooperate with the negotiations and I applaud the people of Cyprus for their steadfast commitment to securing a peaceful and prosperous future.