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US Diaspora criticises UN over lackluster response to Turkish violations

UN Special Adviser Espen Barth Eide

Nine large Greek and Cypriot American organisations have sent a letter to UN Secretary General`s Special Adviser on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide expressing concern over the UN’s response to Turkey’s violations of the island’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

The letter was signed by the heads of the Hellenic American Leadership Council, the National Coordinated Effort of Hellenes, the American Hellenic Institute, UHAC National, AHEPA, PSEKA, Cyprus Federation of America, the Hellenic Federation of New Jersey and the American Hellenic Council.

It said while they welcomed his appointment as special adviser his reaction to date “leaves us less confident about the efforts to reunify Cyprus than we have been for over a year”.
“While we can appreciate attempts to deescalate tensions via quiet diplomacy, we fear that the extraordinary attempts your team and others are going through to avoid calling Turkey’s actions a provocation and statements that effectively blame the victim – the Republic of Cyprus and Greek-Cypriots in this case – are taking the process backwards,” the letter said.

“We will not recite the 40 year history of illegal invasion and occupation, as it is plainly laid out in UN resolutions. Our desire is to get past that tragic history. We do not have details of your quiet diplomacy and have not had the pleasure of meeting with you as of yet, but the actions you are taking and statements you are making during this last crisis come close to sanctioning Turkey’s continued blackmail of Cyprus.

A reunified Cyprus where Greek and Turkish Cypriots benefit from all that Cyprus has to offer its would “never become a reality via the barrel of Turkey’s gun”.
“We hereby request that you delink any discussion about Cyprus’ energy future from the insistence on Turkey removing its ships from Cyprus’ EEZ”.
The letter also expresses the readiness of the organisations to meet Eide and discuss “how we can be helpful to your efforts and have an open airing of views on how to reunify Cyprus”.
President Nicos Anastasiades decided to suspend his participation in the UN-backed negotiations for a solution to the Cyprus problem, after Turkish seismic exploration vessel Barbaros illegally entered Cyprus` EEZ to conduct research, a few days after Turkey issued a maritime order (NAVTEX) for the area. (CNA)

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