The presence of uniformed high- ranking officers of the Turkish army at a reception hosted by American ambassador to the South Cyprus Kathleen Doherty last week sparked outrage by Greek Cypriot political parties yesterday.
Greek Cypriot press reported that, as a rule, the United States invite Turkish army officers at receptions, but this marked the first time that all officers were present in uniform. It was also noted that Doherty violated the United Nations decisions numbered 541/83 and 550/83. Spokesman of the Greek Cypriot government Nikos Hristodulidis also pointed out that Greek Cypriot Foreign Minister is making initiatives for the issue.
On the other hand, a US State Department official said on Monday, amid reactions concerning a reception of the US Embassy in Cyprus, held in the TRNC and attended by Turkish army officers in uniform, that there has been no change in the US policy towards Cyprus, adding that the United States continues to support the settlement process, conducted under the auspices of the UN, to reunify the island as a bizonal, bicommunal federation.
“The United States Embassy in Cyprus has long hosted an annual reception for contacts in the northern part of Cyprus. This includes Turkish military officers, who generally attend in civilian attire. This year some Turkish officers chose to attend the reception in uniform,” the official noted.