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Australian Hellenic Councils Political Position on Cyprus

Cyprus

Cyprus became an independent sovereign state in 1960.  However, in 1974 Turkey, in violation of all norms and fundamental principles of international law and the UN Charter, invaded Cyprus occupying since then 36.2 percent of its territory.

Turkey’s invasion and continued occupation following its military aggression against a member State of the UN, the Commonwealth and, since 2004, a member State also of the European Union are in direct violation of unanimous decisions and resolutions adopted by the United Nations and numerous other international organisations condemning Turkey’s invasion and all subsequent acts of aggression against Cyprus.

Approximately 43,000 Turkish troops are in the occupied areas of Cyprus continuing the illegal occupation and the human rights abuses that entails. The Turkish invasion resulted in massive violations of human rights which include the denial of the right to property; the massive colonization through the unlawful implantation of more than 160,000 settlers from Turkey aiming at altering the demographic structure of Cyprus and prejudicing the settlement of the Cyprus problem; the systematic destruction of cultural, religious and historical heritage in the occupied areas; the usurpation and unlawful exploitation of property belonging to approximately 200,000 Greek Cypriot refugees forcibly expelled and still deprived of the right to return to their homes and properties; and the suffering of a great number of families whose relatives are missing and whose fate is still unknown.

It is regrettable that resolutions and decisions adopted by the international community remain unimplemented as a result of Turkey’s unwillingness to cooperate and refusal to comply with the will of the international community and its legal order.

The AHC extends its deep appreciation for the Australian Government’s principled position supporting the independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and unity of the Republic of Cyprus as well as for its support of, and adherence to, the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions on Cyprus.  Australia’s continued interest for a just and lasting settlement to the Cyprus problem is also reflected through the appointment of Special Envoys and its contribution to the UN Peace Keeping Force in Cyprus since 1964 which the overall Greek community appreciates.

The AHC requests the Australian Government to continue its steadfast support for the independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and unity of the Republic of Cyprus and to the efforts of the Cyprus Government to achieve a just, viable and functional solution to the Cyprus problem based on the United Nations Resolutions on Cyprus and to be compatible with international and the EU law.

The AHC reminds the Australian Government, in full compliance with mandatory UN Security Council Resolutions on Cyprus and in particularly UNSC Resolutions 541/83 and 550/84, to avoid taking any actions which may facilitate or in any way assist the illegal secessionist entity in the occupied part of the Republic of Cyprus.

The AHC calls upon the Australian Government to support a settlement in accordance with the agreed basis of a bizonal bicommunal federation with a single sovereignty, a single citizenship and a single international personality.  A settlement which will put an end to the occupation and illegal settlement thus envisaging the withdrawal of all Turkish occupation troops and illegal Turkish settlers and providing for the return of all refugees to their homes and properties unconditionally and without discrimination.  The solution should restore and safeguard the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all Cypriots, be based on the United Nations Resolutions on Cyprus and be compatible with international and EU law in order to be just, viable and functional.

The AHC urges the Australian Government to exert all its influence on Turkey to terminate its occupation and illegal settlement, to cease the destruction and looting of Cyprus’ religious, historical and cultural heritage in the occupied part of Cyprus, to terminate the usurpation and unlawful exploitation of the Greek Cypriot properties in the occupied part of the Republic of Cyprus reminding that a significant number of these belong to Cypriot Australians, to fully implement the Additional Protocol to the EU – Turkey Association Agreement including the opening of Turkish ports and airports to Cypriot vessels and aircraft and to normalise its relations with the Republic of Cyprus.

The AHC urges the Australian Government to exert all its influence on Turkey, with whom the key to a solution lies, to demonstrate the necessary political will and co-operation, and to actively support the direct negotiations under the UN auspices aimed at a just and comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem.

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