NEWARK, NJ – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez issued the following statement in strong opposition to comments made by U.S. Ambassador to Cyprus John Koenig on Wednesday at the University of Cyprus where he said, “I do not regard the Cyprus problem as a problem of invasion and occupation.”

“Cyprus is divided today because Turkey invaded and occupied the island over 40 years ago,” said Sen. Menendez. “This is an undisputed historical fact and the violation of Cypriot sovereignty is at its core most certainly a problem of invasion and occupation. That is why I strongly oppose the comments of U.S. Ambassador Koenig on this difficult topic for the Greek Cypriot community and its leadership who are striving to achieve a peaceful and meaningful resolution to this conflict. These remarks only complicate that effort to produce a lasting peace for all Cypriots and does not reflect U.S. policy or views. Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean region is poised for tremendous economic growth and opportunity, and these comments create additional challenges at a hopeful time that are unnecessary and regrettable.”