Mr. Speaker, today I rise to express my support for the people of the island of Cyprus. The Greek Cypriots have agreed to come to the table and begin negotiations with their Turkish counterparts. The United States stands by its commitment to peace in the Eastern Mediterranean. While this is merely the beginning of what could be a very long process, it deserves our commendation. A peaceful resolution would set an example of stability in a region beset by turmoil, tumult and upheaval.
The Turkish Cypriot people have been isolated for too long. They have desired a unified island for nearly half a century, and this new start is a significant step toward their reinstatement into the political, economic and social structure of not just the island of Cyprus but also of the entire world.
Mr. Speaker, I restate my resolute support for the start of talks between the Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots. It is important that we encourage both sides to remain at the table and negotiate in good faith. I also implore our State Department to continue to be resolute in supporting these talks. The power of diplomacy is strong. The world is watching and waiting with hopeful anticipation.
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