State Senate Passes Bill On Cyprus

WASHINGTON (CNA)–A resolution approved by the California Senate calls on the US government to disallow Turkey to continue with its present intransigence in the Cyprus peace effort.

The resolution introduced by Assemblyman Lou Papan–was approved August 17 also calls on the President Bill Clinton and Congress to actively support efforts to end the division of Cyprus.

"The Cyprus problem must end soon," Papan said–adding that "the US cannot allow the Turkish government to continue to stonewall any attempt at a resolution."

He pointed out that "the Turkish government is already responsible for thousands of refugees on the island and countless human rights violations–we cannot allow them to make the situation even worse."

Papan added that he recently visited Cyprus–where the situation was "very volatile," noting that the Cyprus government has recently purchased a missile system "for its own defense against the Turks."

"If there is not a just settlement on the island very soon–the current hostility could easily expand–leading to international crisis," he concluded.

Turkish troops invaded Cyprus in 1974 and have since been occupying 37 per cent of the island’s territory.

New efforts to reach a settlement have reached a deadlock in January–when Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash demanded recognition of the illegal regime in the occupied areas and the withdrawal of Cyprus’ application to join the European Union if he is to return to the negotiating table.

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