Select Committee on Foreign Affairs Written Evidence

Written evidence submitted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus


  The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus presents its compliments to the Foreign Affairs Committee of the United Kingdom Parliament and with reference to the latter's announcement of inquiry into United Kingdom policy towards Cyprus, has the honour to send in electronic form, attached herewith, a Memorandum together with its Executive Summary, to assist in its inquiry.

  The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus avails itself of this opportunity to renew to the Foreign Affairs Committee of the United Kingdom Parliament the assurances of its highest consideration.


  On April 24, 2004, the People of Cyprus were asked to approve or reject the UN Secretary-General's proposal for the Comprehensive Settlement of the Cyprus Problem (Annan Plan V). A clear majority of 75.8% of Greek Cypriots rejected the Annan Plan, which was neither fair nor balanced.

  A significant reason for the rejection was the fact that during the negotiations, both in Nicosia and in Bürgenstock, everybody was so keen to satisfying all Turkish demands, whilst, at the same time, the basic proposals of the Greek Cypriot side have been disregarded and their serious concerns were completely ignored.

  The final package presented to the sides contained provisions, which could not be approved by the Greek Cypriots; Greek Cypriots did not accept the continuation of the Treaty of Guarantee for an indefinite period of time, with an expanded scope, when compared to the 1960 Agreement; they rejected a Plan, which did not contain ironclad provisions for the implementation of the agreement, especially for those provisions where Turkey's cooperation was necessary; they failed to understand why Turkish settlers, were to be given Cypriot citizenship or a permanent right of residence leading to citizenship; they did not understand why all Turkish settlers, who constitute a majority of persons on the "electoral rolls of the t.r.n.c.", have been permitted to vote in the referendum; they did not consent to a Plan that would have established a complicated and dysfunctional state, through the possibility of continuous deadlocks on clearly political issues unsuitable for judicial arbitration; they did not vote for a Plan imposing on them the liability to pay the large claims for loss of use of properties in the Turkish occupied area and which did not guarantee a workable economic basis for a reunified Cyprus; they rejected a Plan, certain provisions of which are clear violations or long-term suspensions of the enjoyment of fundamental rights; they disapproved a plan that denied to the majority of refugees the right of return to their homes in safety; they rejected a Plan, the provisions of which would deprive Cyprus of enjoying sovereign rights stemming from its membership in the European Union. (Vide pp. 6-14, for the reasons of the rejection by the Greek Cypriots of the Annan Plan.)

  On the contrary, the Plan unfortunately stipulated "bizonality" in the sense of creating permanent ethnic and legal separation and effectively brought the whole of Cyprus into Turkey's sphere of influence.

  It was not surprising, therefore, that a Plan, so imbalanced in favour of Turkey, was not approved by 75.8% of Greek Cypriots, exercising their legitimate democratic right. It is, however, emphasized, in the strongest possible terms, that Greek Cypriots had rejected this particular Plan and not the solution of the Cyprus problem.

  Although the Plan stipulated that it would be null and void in the event of its rejection in the referendum, there are attempts at putting pressure on the Republic of Cyprus and at upgrading the secessionist entity in the occupied areas. It should be noted, in this respect, that no consequences were incurred on Turkey and its subordinate local administration when for so many years they rejected all previous proposals and plans by the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

  The Greek Cypriots are not turning their backs to their Turkish Cypriot compatriots. On the contrary, the Greek Cypriot side are fully determined to work for a solution that will meet the hopes and expectations of both communities. We want a common future for all Cypriots within the European Union, without any third parties dictating that future.

  The Government of the Republic of Cyprus is the first to support the economic development of Turkish Cypriots; an economic development, which promotes the ultimate aim of facilitating the reunification of our country. (Vide pp. 23-28, for the Cyprus Government's policies and initiatives in favour of the Turkish Cypriots.) However, it is more than evident that Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot leadership are not genuinely interested about the economic development of the Turkish Cypriot community, but primarily for the upgrading and ultimate recognition of the secessionist entity.

  The disappointment of the international community, for not arriving at a settlement, is fully understandable. The Greek Cypriots share this disappointment. Nevertheless, it should be noted that the international community should aim at finding and securing viable, just and lasting solutions to international problems; the efforts for a solution of a complex international dispute, such as the Cyprus problem, must continue.

  The United Kingdom has a special role in working for a solution preserving the sovereignty, the territorial integrity and the unity of the Republic of Cyprus. It should aim at the economic integration and the rapprochement of the two communities and should avoid actions that are not in line with this goal. In this respect, the United Kingdom should not support and promote proposals for "direct trade" from the northern part of the island. It should, also, not object to the inclusion, in the EU Regulation on financial support for the Turkish Cypriots, of a provision, which will ensure respect of the rights of private property and possessions of the Greek Cypriot displaced persons. Moreover, the British Government should respect resolutions of the Security Council on Cyprus and avoid actions to weaken Resolutions 541 (1983) and 550 (1984).

  The Government of the United Kingdom and the international community should remain committed to working for a solution bearing in mind the essence of the Cyprus problem. This is none other than the illegal invasion and occupation of part of the Republic of Cyprus by Turkey and the forceful separation policies inflicted on the Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots by 30 years of Turkish military occupation. The United Kingdom Government should work for the complete withdrawal of all Turkish troops and the demilitarisation of the Republic of Cyprus.

  The United Kingdom should also support the proposal of the Government of the Republic of Cyprus, as elaborated in the letter, by President Papadopoulos to Commissioner Verheugen, dated 23 August 2004, for the return of Varosha to its lawful inhabitants and the reopening of Famagusta port, under the joint management of the two communities, with an appointed chairperson by the European Commission.

  The Greek Cypriots express their disappointment at the fact that British Representatives in Switzerland, had distributed, during the Bürgenstock Meetings, to Foreign Ministries and the mass media, two inaccurate Memos trying to undermine the positions of the Greek Cypriot side and guide the international community towards a negative attitude in case of disapproval of the plan in the referendum; they express their disappointment at the fact that British policy, following the 24 April 2004 referendum, has not shown, in practice, respect for the will of the overwhelming majority of the Greek Cypriots; they regret the inclusion in the "strategic partnership" document, signed between the United Kingdom and Turkey, of a paragraph affecting the interests of the Republic of Cyprus; they feel that the United Kingdom seems to support and promote proposals which do not serve the aim of the reunification of Cyprus, or indeed the purpose of the economic development of the Turkish Cypriot community and the economic integration of the island and which, on the contrary, infringe on Cyprus's sovereignty.

  Such policies lead to disappointment and can affect the traditional excellent relations and bonds of friendship between the peoples of Cyprus and the United Kingdom and the latter's role in future negotiation, which should aim at making the necessary changes in the Annan plan, to make it functional and workable and in line with the EU acquis communautaire.

  The occupation of the northern part of the island and the presence of Turkish military troops are incompatible with international law and the behaviour by a Country aspiring to become a member of the EU. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs believes that the withdrawal of Turkish troops, as well as the fulfilment of its obligations under the Customs Union Agreement concerning Cyprus and the removal of the vetoes on the participation of Cyprus in international organisations will facilitate Turkey's accession prospects. The United Kingdom should insist on Turkey's compliance with those obligations.

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