The absence of a solution in the Cyprus problem is due to the fact that the West will not exert the necessary pressure on Turkey, according to Peter Marudas, former Chief of Staff of Senator Paul Sarbanes.
The sense that Cypriots have that the US always backs Turkey “is partly justified”, he told CAN, in that there is a misplaced emphasis on security concerns rather than issues of justice.
During his week-long visit to Cyprus, Marudas, now retired, was full of praise for what Cypriots had achieved following the 1974 Turkish invasion.
“My last visit here was in July 1975, there have been big changes since then,” he said, noting that people had faced challenging and difficult experiences, economic and other but Cypriots emerged relatively well.
“I am impressed by the achievements of the Cypriots, the invasion was an enormous blow, Cypriots established an impressive country,” he said, and wondered what the US would have done if it had lost 37% of its land.
Cyprus, he added has a good reputation and plays a positive role in the region and is an EU member.
“It is a respected member of the international community and as we say in the States, it carries its load,” he noted.
Referring to US backing of Turkey and the belief Cypriots have that Washington would always support Ankara, he said: “This image of the US is partly justified as there is a misplaced emphasis on security concerns rather than issues of justice. Many in the USA view Cyprus as a rather minor issue, and there are a lot of forces pushing to back Turkey.”
Assessing the current situation, he said: “Cyprus is an oasis of stability, notwithstanding the division, the only functional democracy in this part of the world – apart from Israel in its own country -, and this elevates Cyprus and its strategic role.”
On the failure to reach a solution in Cyprus, he had this to say: “The West will not exert the pressure needed on Turkey for a solution”, noting at the same time that the solution in Cyprus is not the same as the Israeli-Palestinian issue.
“It is in the US interests, economic, political and in relation to the values the country subscribes to, to support Cyprus in any way we can, the Cyprus issue is a struggle for values the US values highly,” he concluded. (CNA)