US Senator and Chairman of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, Robert Menendez, is expected to visit Cyprus to address the Cyprus diaspora conference to be held in Nicosia.

Head of the Cypriot expatriates and re-patriates service, Thalia Polydorou, called the presence of the US senator, known for his sympathetic stance towards the positions of Nicosia and Athens, a “landmark event”.

Menendez who has previously referred to himself as an ally of Cyprus and Greece, marked the recent 49th anniversary of Turkey’s invasion and occupation of the island on July 20, 1974 with the following statements:

“Forty-nine years since Turkey’s invasion of the Republic of Cyprus, its continued occupation of the Republic’s north remains an affront to international law, countless United Nations resolutions, and to the Cypriot people. Turkey’s attack forced thousands of people from their homes and many are still missing to this day.

“I unequivocally condemn Turkey’s continued aggressive and antagonistic behaviour, including provocative actions in Varosha. President Erdogan must immediately withdraw the more than 40,000 troops from the Republic’s territory and enable the reunification of Cyprus.

“I reaffirm my commitment to Cyprus’ sovereignty, territorial integrity, and single state based on a bizonal, bicommunal federation, as well as its defence and will continue to pursue legislation to further our military ties. Congress made clear [that] through the Eastern Mediterranean Security and Energy Partnership Act, the United States and Cyprus remain strong friends and partners.”

The conference will take place at the University of Nicosia from August 22 to 25, where President Nikos Christodoulides will address the opening ceremony.

Menendez will address the Cyprus diaspora on Thursday, August 24.