Malliotakis Calls for Action on the 47th Dark Anniversary of the Invasion of Cyprus

July 29, 2021

WASHINGTON, DC – Greek-American Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis (NY-11) on July 20 on the House Floor called for action against the Republic of Turkey’s deadly and unprovoked military invasion of Cyprus 47 years ago, which continues to this very day with Turkey's aggressive, illegal, and unilateral reopening of Varosha.

"As we grow one year closer to the fiftieth anniversary of Turkey’s illegal invasion of Cyprus, the United States must take a strong stand at the United Nations and other international fora to address the growing threat posed by Turkey, its increased aggression, the reunification of Cyprus, and to ensure the eventual return of Varosha to its native Greek Cypriot inhabitants," said Congresswoman Malliotakis. "If we, as a governing body, truly claim to stand for liberty and justice for all, we must speak in a unified voice on this issue.”

Congresswoman Malliotakis on July 1 led a bipartisan group of colleagues in sending a letter to the United States Ambassador to the United Nations (UN) Linda Thomas-Greenfield, urging the UN Security Council (UNSC) to take immediate action against "the Republic of Turkey's aggressive, illegal and unilateral reopening of Varosha in Cyprus."

In 1974, Turkey launched a deadly and unprovoked military invasion of Cyprus, occupying a third of the island – including Varosha. This action directly violates international law and multiple UNSC resolutions.  

"As our Ambassador to the UN, it is imperative that you act in concert with your UNSC and General Assembly colleagues to implement these stated UN policies and address the growing threat posed by Turkey, ensuring the eventual return of Varosha to its Greek Cypriot owners and inhabitants," wrote Representatives Malliotakis, Maloney, Bilirakis, Fitzpatrick, Titus, Pappas, Cicilline, Waltz, Sarbanes, Pallone, McGovern, and Lynch. “Given your lifelong advocacy for refugee communities around the world, we are confident that you will use your position at the UN to defend the rights of Varosha's native Greek Cypriot people."

In May, Malliotakis led her colleagues in introducing a bipartisan resolution calling on the Biden Administration to condemn Turkey for its illegal occupation of Cyprus and encourage the Administration to make the reunification of the island nation a top foreign policy priority.

Malliotakis Meets with Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos III

Rep. Malliotakis, while traveling to the Middle East as part of a Congressional Delegation led by Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), met with His Beatitude Theophilos III, Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem and all of Palestine, Israel, Syria beyond the Jordan River, Cana of Galilee and Holy Zion. Theophilos III was officially enthroned as Patriarch on November 22, 2005.

“As a proud Greek American of Orthodox faith it was an honor to meet with Patriarch Theophilos III during my trip overseas," said Congresswoman Malliotakis in a July 9 news release. “We discussed religious freedom and oppression of religious minorities in the Middle East and our Congressional Hellenic Caucus’ resolution that calls for religious freedom for our Greek Orthodox Patriarch, His All-Holiness Bartholomew, in Constantinople, along with urging the Turkish government to allow for the reopening of the Halki School of Theology. I thoroughly enjoyed our conversation and look forward to further addressing these issues in Congress as both a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Congressional Hellenic Caucus."


Ambassador Dimitrios Tsikouris (JD, MA) has a 36-year-long career in the Greek Diplomatic Service with assignments in Germany, the United Nations, New Orleans, Washington, DC, NATO Defense College in Rome, Italy, Iran, Belgium, Indonesia, Malaysia, and ASEAN.

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