In the wake of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s promotion of a two-state solution for Cyprus and his scheme to reopen the abandoned town Varosha, a leading US think tank analyst has called for greater American engagement in containing Turkish aggression in the ethnically-split island.
“Given the UN’s inability to deter Turkish hostility, the United States will need to use more than multilateral means to impede Erdogan’s in Cyprus,” said Morgan Lorraine Vina, an adjunct fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, in an article published on RealClear World website this week.
“The administration of US President Joe Biden should build a concerted strategy with the European Union, including coordinated sanctions, to push back against Erdogan’s belligerence in the Mediterranean,” said Vina, who previously served as chief of staff to US Permanent Representative to the United Nations Nikki R. Haley.
She said Washington should also consider appointing a special envoy for the Eastern Mediterranean and strengthen its ongoing cooperation with regional allies and partners.
“UN peacekeepers in Cyprus are not a deterrent against Erdogan’s provocations, and the international community should stop pretending that they are,” Vina said.
“The reality is that if the Turkish president were to attempt a further land grab in Cyprus, UNFICYP peacekeepers are not going to stop Turkish forces,” she said in reference to the UN mission in Cyprus.
“In the absence of credible international resistance, the Biden administration should take the lead,” she said.