UNITED NATIONS (Reuters)–Cyprus provides a vivid example of the international community’s failure to uphold international law and human rights–the president of the Cypriot parliament–Spyros Kyprianou–said on Friday.
“For over 26 years–as a result of the continuing Turkish occupation of a substantial part of the territory of Cyprus–its people are being subjected to the most brutal violations of human rights,” he said.
Kyprianou–a former president and foreign minister of Cyprus–was addressing a conference at the United Nations of presiding officers of national parliamen’s.
He was speaking shortly before the scheduled resumption on Sept. 12 of long-running UN-sponsored talks between the leaders of the Greek and Turkish Cypriots aimed at reuniting the divided island.
Cyprus has been virtually partitioned since troops from Turkey took over the northern part of the island in 1974.
A Turkish Cypriot state proclaimed in 1983 is recognized only by Turkey and is not represented at the meeting of parliamentarians.
Referring to Turkey’s actions in Cyprus–Kyprianou said: “In fact these crimes are tantamount to the abhorrent policy of ethnic cleansing–which in Cyprus began to be applied much earlier than the time this term was first coined.”
He said Cyprus “provides a vivid example of the failure of the international community and its multilateral organs to uphold international law and human rights.”
Such situations “undermine international cooperation–peace and security and constitute dangerous precedents for similar violations of international to surface in other parts of the world and remain unpunished,” he added.
In the case of Cyprus–“the Turkish side refuses to abandon expansionist policies and utterly disregards international law and the pertinent UN resolutions,” Kyprianou said.
“At the same time–Turkey–not feeling international pressure to abandon her intransigent stance–also engages in further provocations escalating tension,” he continued.
“When the culprit state exhibits such behavior–it would be unrealistic and devoid of any legal and moral basis to expect a just and viable settlement to be reached through concession upon concession by the victim of aggression,” Kyprianou added.