Select Committee on Foreign Affairs Written Evidence

Further written evidence submitted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus

  Since Turkey's military invasion and occupation of the northern part of the Republic of Cyprus in 1974, the Cyprus Government and the Greek Cypriot community have vigorously pursued the end of the forcible division and the achievement of the reunification of the Island and its people through a negotiated, just, functional, viable and lasting settlement that would respect human rights for all its citizens.


  The UN Secretary-General presented his first draft Plan in November 2002 and later produced a second draft just before the European Union Copenhagen Summit. The Turkish Cypriot leadership failed to engage in any negotiations on the basis of the Plan, nor did it turn up at Copenhagen to conclude the effort. On 26 February 2003, the Secretary General produced a third draft of the Annan Plan. President Papadopoulos had just won the Cyprus Presidential elections on 16 February 2003. As President-elect he presented his views on the Annan Plan in a letter addressed to the Secretary-General on 28 February 2003, raising a number of fundamental reservations and objections to its provisions.

  The UN Secretary-General convened a meeting at The Hague on 10 March 2003. Mr Denktashh, the Turkish Cypriot leader, and President Papadopoulos participated at the talks. Mr Denktashh immediately indicated that he rejected the Annan Plan entirely, its philosophy, its parameters, its trade-offs on core issues. President Papadopoulos, on the other hand, indicated that he was prepared not to raise the "core" issues of the Plan, provided that the other side did the same. He repeated and insisted on the points raised in his letter of 28 February 2003 to the Secretary-General, and expressed his readiness to negotiate in good faith and good-will on these points. At the same time, he reiterated his concern about the functionality and viability of the Plan and indicated that he would be making proposals for making the Plan more functional and viable, without re-opening important trade-offs agreed by his predecessor on core issues.

  In view of the absolute rejection of the Annan Plan by the Turkish Cypriots, the talks broke down and the Secretary-General issued a public statement, expressly laying the blame for the breakdown on the Turkish side and commending the constructive attitude of the Greek Cypriot side. For almost a year, nothing happened because the Secretary-General refused to renew the talks. Finally, the U.N. Secretary-General invited the parties to New York, after President Papadopoulos by his letter, of 17 December 2003, requested a new initiative by the Secretary-General. On 13 February 2004, the Secretary-General announced the accord reached by the two Cypriot parties to start negotiations as soon as possible in the following format:

    1.  Negotiations between the two sides to last four weeks under the auspices of his Special Adviser, Mr Alvaro de Soto. During this time, the parties would negotiate in good faith in order to reach an agreement;

    2.  If no agreement was found by the two parties, negotiations would be continued for a further week with the collaboration of Greece and Turkey; and

    3.  If no agreement was reached at the end of the second phase, the Secretary-General was authorized to finalize the text.

  However, the Secretary-General committed himself that this finalisation would be "on the basis of his Plan", and would be using his right sparingly, when the differences on the issues would be narrowed down and in cases of persistent deadlocks.

  No other commitments were entered into at the New York meeting, except for the parties to submit the finalised Plan to referendum. The parties were invited to submit their proposed amendments to the Plan, which ought to be in line with the Plan and limited within the parameters of the Plan. The Greek Cypriot side abided strictly to these guidelines (as accepted by the Secretary-General) and limited its proposals to only seven "Headings".

  Unfortunately, the Turkish Cypriot proposals impinged at the core issues of the Plan, upsetting its balance and basic tradeoffs while being mostly outside the basic parameters of the Plan. These Turkish Cypriot proposals were protested by the Greek Cypriot side to no avail. Though the Greek Cypriot side reserved the right to raise core issues only if the other side did so, showing its good will, it chose not to do so, remaining within the framework and the parameters of the Annan Plan III, being confident that, given the assurances of the Secretary-General and the 4th Point of the New York understanding, any demands by either side, which would be outside the parameters of the Plan would not be taken into account.

  Over the four weeks of the first phase there had been no negotiation. The Greek Cypriot side demonstrated repeatedly its will to negotiate in good faith, submitting its proposals both orally and in writing, only to find itself confronted with the Turkish side's intransigent position once again. At the end of this period the Turkish Cypriot leader declared that he would not be attending the talks at Bürgenstock. Unfortunately, no real negotiations were carried out at Bürgenstock, either. Only one meeting of the parties was called by Mr De Soto, which was eventually cancelled, one hour before the scheduled meeting, at the request of the Turkish Cypriot representative. Mr Talat had said that: "it would be better if the meeting be postponed until after the arrival of the Turkish Prime Minister, Mr Erdogan, at Bürgenstock". Mr Papadopoulos was not invited to any other meeting for negotiations, during his ten days in Bürgenstock.

  It was only at the last two days of the second phase at Bürgenstock that the UN tried to produce a list of priorities to enable "tradeoffs", especially when Turkey's Under-Secretary Ziyal conveyed a two-page list of final points demanding that the UN Secretariat include in the plan the changes requested by Turkey. This request was to be met, with the UN Secretary General telling the Prime Minister of Turkey, upon the latter's arrival at Bürgenstock, on 29 March 2004, that nine out of eleven points had been fully met and that the other two were virtually met. All points were to be met on the final version of the Plan of 31 March.

  It should be noted that the "two-page list" of Turkish demands, was never put before the Greek Cypriot side and it was never negotiated either. To give but one example, which is very telling: In previous versions of the Annan plan, it was provided that the Turkish troops will leave the island within 15 years or upon Turkey joining the European union, whichever occurred earlier. Without any negotiation, on this or any other issues, Annan V provided that a number of Turkish troops, with expanded powers, would remain in Cyprus for ever.

  Malicious rumours were spread that President Papadopoulos refused to talk with Mr Talat at Bürgenstock, despite a public denial by the UN spokesman in Nicosia, Mr Brian Kelly, on 13 April, who said that: "It appears that there is a misunderstanding. The UN have never told Mr Talat that Mr Papadopoulos refused to meet him (Mr Talat) and Mr Serdar Denktashh face to face".

  The truth is that no real negotiation, face-to-face or otherwise, was carried out at Bürgenstock. The reason is that everybody was so keen to get Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots onboard, after 30 years of their utter intransigence, that all efforts were directed towards satisfying all Turkish demands, whilst, at the same time, not giving any concern or trying to accommodate the concerns of the Greek Cypriot side.

  On 29 March 2004, the Secretary General presented a revised version of his plan, containing numerous amendments, including changes on core issues and reopening substantial trade-offs, previously agreed, and requested the comments of the parties within less than 24 hours. In addition to the Foundation Agreement, the revised version consisted of over 9000 pages, including 131 laws, covering, for example, the important issues of citizenship/settlers, the Federal Central Bank, international treaties, etc.

  In spite of these constraints the Greek Cypriot side submitted its comments, in writing, as requested by the Secretary General.

  On April 24, 2004, the People of Cyprus were asked to approve or reject the U.N. Secretary General's proposal for the Comprehensive Settlement of the Cyprus Problem (Annan Plan V). It was not surprising that a clear majority of 75.8% of Greek Cypriots rejected the Annan Plan, which was neither fair nor balanced. It is significant to say that in these percentages, 70% of the refugees, that under the Annan Plan were supposed to return to their homes, (up to a ceiling of 18% of the Turkish Cypriot population in these areas, and, moreover, of those to reside in the 8% of the occupied areas, which within three and a half years would be returned to the Greek Cypriot constituent state, voted "NO" to the Annan Plan).


  The Ministry of Foreign Affairs believes that the Committee, in its examination, should take into serious consideration the reasons why the Annan plan was not approved by the Greek Cypriot side, including the majority of the Greek Cypriot refugees. In the view of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus, basic proposals of the Greek Cypriot side, all within the parameters of the Plan, have been disregarded. The serious concerns of the Greek Cypriot side were completely ignored. The clear outcome of the referendum confirmed the initial assessment of the Greek Cypriot side, that all third parties involved in the process, concentrated their efforts towards satisfying the interests of the Republic of Turkey and ensuring a positive result of the referendum in the Turkish Cypriot community, while ignoring the fact that Greek Cypriots also had to be convinced to approve the Plan.

  The Greek Cypriots would have been convinced if their concerns about security, the removal of settlers, functionality, the economic and general viability of the Plan, as well as the fears for the implementation by Turkey, of the provisions of a Plan which spanned a period of 21 years, had been addressed and satisfied.

  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. It should be noted that it is this very treaty that Turkey used as a pretext, in violation of the UN Charter, to justify its 1974 invasion of Cyprus. It was not possible for Greek Cypriots to accept the indefinite continuation of Turkey's guarantor status over a country, which has suffered an invasion and subsequent occupation by this guarantor power. In particular, Greek Cypriots did not accept the presence of Turkish troops in perpetuity, which according to the Plan would remain in Cyprus even after Turkey's eventual accession to the European Union, and moreover, even the expansion of the guarantor powers' rights emanating from the Treaty of Guarantee, through the inclusion of an additional protocol. In fact, in Cyprus on 8 March 2004, in its "Talking Points" on "Security-Ratification of the Treaty related to the coming into effect of the Foundation Agreement," the Greek Cypriot side rejected the Turkish Cypriot side's view (expressed in their papers) that there was a right of military intervention and insisted that the Treaty of Guarantee did not empower intervention. At Bürgenstock on 30 March, the Greek Cypriot side asked for clarification that the Treaty did not empower unilateral military intervention. Following the Bürgenstock meeting, the Government of Turkey circulated to the Turkish Grand National Assembly a paper asserting that the Plan gave Turkey "the right of intervention" either alone or together with the United Kingdom and Greece. Since clarifications were still being finalised, the Greek Cypriot side on 15 April 2004 insisted that the matter, which involved a jus cogens rule of international law, must be clarified. It gave the UN an Opinion by 19 of the world's leading jurists on the illegality of unilateral intervention under the Treaty of Guarantee. The UN ignored the disagreement over the interpretation of the rights of the Treaty of Guarantee, between the Republic of Cyprus and Turkey, although this issue has been of paramount gravity for the Greek Cypriot side. In order to tackle this issue, and as a last resort and ultimate further concession, the Greek Cypriot side had proposed the adoption of a triggering-off mechanism for the exercise of the alleged right of intervention under the Treaty of Guarantee. However, Mr de Soto refused to discuss the issue and the Secretary General of the UN also did not contemplate this possibility. Even after the presentation of the text of the final Plan, Cyprus tried unsuccessfully to secure a strong resolution under Chapter VII of the UN Charter and in any event the adoption of a triggering off mechanism, to no avail, in view of objections by Turkey.

  Greek Cypriots 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. It is noted that demands of the Greek Cypriot side for additional guarantees and other safeguarding measures regarding the gradual reduction of Turkey's occupying troops and the territorial adjustment, were ignored, thus, increasing the feeling of insecurity for the Greek Cypriots. The Secretary-General's proposals for assurances regarding implementation did not address the Greek Cypriot request that the UN be involved throughout the period preceding transfer of the territory due to the readjusted, so that return of the property in good order and repairs and avoiding vandalisms, could be ensured. Acceptance and implementation of the Plan would have had profound consequences. Given that all parts of the Plan constituted an integral whole and were of equal importance, it was imperative that before embarking on its implementation all the proper iron cast guarantees should have been in place that each and every party concerned would comply with all of its obligations arising therefrom. Regrettably, contrary to the Secretary-General's aims in formulating the Plan, the arrangements for implementing territorial adjustments under Annan V would have resulted in a "win—great risk of losing "situation" and not in a "win-win" situation, as intended by the Secretary-General. The arrangements, as envisaged under Annan V, would have given the Turkish Cypriots real and considerable benefits governmentally, politically, internationally, economically, security-wise etc, from the very first day of the Foundation Agreement coming into operation, ie 24 hours after the referendum. Nevertheless, at the same time, 24 hours after the referendum, the Republic of Cyprus would have ceased to exist. In contrast, the two benefits for Greek Cypriots, namely territorial adjustments and reductions in the size of the Turkish Army in Cyprus, would not begin immediately, and would have taken a number of years to be phased in. In this way, the implementation of the Plan, especially those provisions of crucial interest to the Greek Cypriots, would have been contingent to Turkey's good will, which, for the last 30 years, at least, is far from forthcoming even in embryonic form. When for the last thirty years, due to lack of good will on the part of the Turkish side, no progress whatsoever has been achieved in relatively simple issues of profound humanitarian nature such as the investigation of the fate of the missing persons, it would be very imprudent to rely on Turkey's good will for the full, prompt and proper implementation of a Plan, purporting to provide a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem. The full implementation of the Plan, would be implemented in phases over a period spanning 21 years after the referendum, whilst, in the meantime, the State—the Republic of Cyprus—would have ceased to exist, whilst its substitute—the "new state of affairs"—would not have fully come into being.

  Greek Cypriots failed to understand why, despite their numerous protestations, Turkish settlers, were to be given citizenship of Cyprus or a permanent right of residence leading to citizenship. All provisions regarding citizenship were drafted to obscure the fact that the issue is "Turkish settlers". As a matter of fact, Mr Pfirter, legal adviser to Mr De Soto, and one of the drafters of Annan Plan, told Bogazici University, in Istanbul, on 17 July 2003 that "the Plan does not foresee that anybody will be forced to leave"—his speech having outlined provisions indicating that 70,000 Turks could remain in Cyprus. On 15 March 2004, the Turkish Cypriot side, under Ambassador Ziyal's guidance, asked for a list of "50,000 persons in addition to their spouses and children" to be granted UCR citizenship. Since some 18,000 settlers, married to Turkish Cypriots, were entitled to citizenship under another provision, Turkey was in effect asking for 68,000 settler families to be granted citizenship. On the basis of two persons per family (2 x 50,000) plus the 18,000 spouses of Turkish Cypriots, Turkey was therefore admitting to the presence of at least 118,000 Turkish settlers. The Plan as "finalized" provided for: a list of 45,000 persons; the spouses of Cypriots (18,000 plus); and, furthermore, an additional 20,000 Turks as permanent residents, who would be entitled in four years to UCR citizenship, thus providing for some 83,000 Turks to remain. In addition, 18,000 Turkish University staff and students would remain as residents, while, under the Turkish immigration quota, another 10,000 Turks could settle (in fact remain in Cyprus). Thus, under the 2004 version of the Plan, 111,000 Turkish settlers were either entitled to UCR citizenship or to residence. Accordingly, Mr Pfirter's 17 July 2003 statement that nobody would be forced by the Plan to leave remained accurate. It suffices to remind that the Republic of Turkey, in violation of the 1949 Geneva Convention, the Statute of the International Criminal Court and the Treaty of Establishment, illegally implanted these settlers in Cyprus.

  Moreover, people did not understand why all Turkish settlers, who constitute a majority of persons on the "electoral rolls of the TRNC", have been permitted to vote in the referendum, in spite of the principle, laid dawn by the International Court of Justice, "requiring the free and genuine expression of the will of the people concerned" as well as, the precedent applied in East Timor. The issue is really about Turkish settlers voting. The UN was given an Opinion by 18 of the world's leading jurists on the unlawfulness of letting settlers vote. The Greek Cypriot side had raised this issue continuously. Most notably, President Clerides raised it on 24 July 2000 at Geneva, when Mr de Soto gave his Preliminary Thoughts on a Plan for Cyprus. President Clerides also raised it many times thereafter, as did President Papadopoulos in letters of 28 February 2003, and 22 March and 25 March 2004. However, when the issue was yet again raised by President Papadopoulos, as the referendum approached, the UN Secretariat briefed diplomats that, by raising "settlers issues", the Greek Cypriot side was attempting to torpedo the talks. The Secretary General did not take up the President's request to discuss at Bürgenstock modalities easily and quickly to settle the issue through a review of the "voters list", which denotes the place of origin of each voter. He merely stated that raising the issue was a major addition to the Plan which was before the Parties and that it undermined a fundamental parameter of his Plan. The irony is that Mr De Soto, before (but also after) he was assigned in Cyprus, is the representative of the Secretary-General in Western Sahara, where, as representative of the United Nations, actively promotes the view that "according to international law and the International Court of Justice rulings `settlers' should NOT be entitled to vote" (!).

  Greek Cypriots 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. This could, with a high degree of certainty, lead to paralysis. And paralysis, would inevitably lead to "dialysis" (dissolution of the State). Functionality covers all the areas of the operation of the state and the Greek Cypriot concern for functionality was reflected in all of the Greek Cypriot proposals (oral and written) during the process covering, inter alia, federal legislation and its practical application, the Central Bank, fiscal and monetary policy, the curtailing of the various transitional periods, ensuring conformity with EU obligations, the administrative structure and function of the federal government, the decision-making process at all levels, the territorial aspect and the issue of the missing persons. All of the Greek Cypriot suggestions concerning functionality are fully documented, have been within the parameters of the Plan and did not affect in any way the rights afforded by the Plan to the Turkish Cypriots. Does one need much argumentation to accept that no country in the world (far less a small country) can survive without a unified monetary policy? Yet, the Annan Plan does not provide for one -unified- monetary policy, in the case of Cyprus. Can the Greek Cypriot constituent state apply an "austerity" monetary and financial policy, and, at the same time, the Turkish Cypriot constituent state an "expansionist policy", by borrowing, and, in addition, such borrowing being guaranteed by the Federal Government, the resources of which, as to 90%, would come from Greek Cypriots?

  Another significant aspect of the Plan is a misleading impression of improving functionality and of indicating that the Plan represented a solid and workable economic basis for reunification of Cyprus. It is not explained, however, that important recommendations by the Technical Committee on Economic and Financial Aspects of Implementation, (which had only been appointed at Greek Cypriot insistence and included experts from the IMF and the World Bank), had either been changed or not included in the final, fifth Annan Plan and the accompanying Laws. Indicatively, the "Record of Recommendations of the Technical Committee on Economic and Financial Aspects of implementation," submitted by the UN on 25 March 2004 to the two sides, had noted that "the Cyprus Pound mentioned in the Plan is the current Cyprus pound". This note was not included in the accompanying Central Bank Law attached to the fifth Annan Plan. Furthermore, the Committee had recommended that in the future Monetary Policy Committee (ensuring currency stability) the Greek Cypriot side should have a majority of members, but the final version of the Plan, provided for equal representation of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots and that no decision could be taken, unless in the majority vote there was at least one vote from each community. Moreover, the Committee had recommended that the branch of the Central Bank in the Turkish Cypriot constituent state should be closed one year after the entry into force of the Foundation Agreement, subject to the possibility of a contrary recommendation from a working group including IMF and EU experts. Yet the Plan left open the possibilities of maintaining the branch in the Turkish Cypriot constituent state and of widening its responsibilities. Such a development could seriously undermine the effective exercise of monetary policy. Even more seriously, the Committee had recommended that "An advisory Council should be created to serve as the main coordinating vehicle between the federal and constituent states to define a joint fiscal policy stance and contain and manage new borrowing by an Internal Stability Pact within the Macroeconomic Stability Council". There were detailed provisions on the functions of this Macroeconomic Stability Council and on the borrowing limits of all levels of Government, but the Plan and the accompanying Laws only referred to the possibility of setting up an MSC with an advisory role by a later federal Law. (All federal laws can only be approved by separate majorities of the two communities' deputies.) Yet again the Committee tackled the issues of prevention of harmful tax competition and taxation of commuters, whereas the fifth Plan and Laws were silent. Finally, the Committee had defined federal economic policy, whereas the Plan did not touch upon this major issue. All these Committee recommendations were agreed to by the Committee's members, including the Turkish Cypriot experts, but Annex II, while it indicates that implementation of the Committee's recommendations would ensure a workable economic basis for a reunified Cyprus, is silent as to the departures from these recommendations in the Plan.

  Greek Cypriots rejected the Plan, certain provisions of which are clear violations or long-term suspensions of the enjoyment of fundamental rights. These provisions institutionalize a divisive structure in the political sphere, on questions of residency, in the exercise of the right to property and even the right to conduct business. It should not be forgotten that a substantial number of those voting were refugees, 70% of which voted "no", and who for more than thirty years have been deprived of their human rights, particularly their right to return and to property, due to the presence of 35,000 troops and 119,000 illegally implanted Turkish settlers.

  Greek Cypriots disapproved a plan that denied to the majority of refugees the right of return to their homes in safety. Moreover, the proposed complex mechanism, relevant to the exercise of the property rights of refugees, with the numerous conditions attached to reinstatement of property, failed to convince that it would effectively function. In addition, the scheme for compensation was fraught with ambiguities that raised serious concerns about its future economic viability. It has been said that 120,000 displaced Greek Cypriots would be returning under Greek Cypriot administration. This is most definitely not so. Based on the 1973 Census of population, 85,000-90,000 displaced persons would be the maximum number able to return to these areas. They were not a majority of the refugees. It is curious, to say the least, why the number of displaced persons who potentially may return by extrapolating the population to its present levels including the descendants of many who have left Cyprus, has been exaggerated. The UN negotiating team knows well the true facts. At the same time, it is mentioned, elsewhere, that "over time 100,000 Greek Cypriots would be able to take up permanent residence in the Turkish Cypriot State". Again, the figures are grossly exaggerated and no time frame is given. The actual potential numbers are as follows: between 2010-2013 12,000-13,900 persons were eligible to resettle; between 2014 and 2018 the cumulative number would have increased to 26,700-31,500; and between 2018-2023 the maximum cumulative number could have become 44,000 to 51,000.

  Greek Cypriots rejected a Plan imposing on them the liability to pay the large claims for loss of use of properties in the Turkish occupied area. Greek Cypriots simply refused to assume the cost of the fait accompli created by the 30-year occupation of their land. In addition, the Greek Cypriot leader, who would assume the role of the co-president of the Federal State, was obliged to write to the European Court of Human Rights, asking the Court to reject pending cases and discourage new applications to the Court by Cypriot citizens (!).

  Greek Cypriots rejected a Plan, which provides that Cyprus shall not put its ports or airports at the disposal of the European Union, in the context of the European Security and Defence Policy, without the consent of Greece and Turkey. Acceptance of such provisions would deprive Cyprus of enjoying sovereign rights stemming from its membership in the European Union.

  Some foreign diplomats and observers argue that Annan Plan V provided for the "re-unification" of Cyprus, and, therefore, the Greek Cypriots voting at about 76% its rejection, voted against the "reunification" of Cyprus.

  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. The "separatist" provisions of the Plan, perpetuating and institutionalising the separation, are rather more important than the unifying provisions, and, in fact, without amendment, they perpetuate the separation. As to the allegations that the Greek Cypriot side did not submit serious demands on the territorial aspects, the return of refugees, on Karpasia, the timetables, etc., the following remarks are made. Had the Greek Cypriot side, at the first phase of the negotiations, proposed such changes in the Plan, it would have been accused that it had moved away from its commitment to submit proposals on the basis and within the parameters of the Plan. It is really strange and a paradox that such allegations are made from those who, at the same time, portrayed the Greek Cypriot side as the one with the negative attitude.

  Throughout the talks, in Nicosia, Mr De Soto was advising the Greek Cypriot side that Turkey would "soon surprise you with its proposals on territory and for straightening the map. So wait, until the submission of Turkey's map before you raise territorial issues". In the end, at Bürgenstock, both, first, the British High Commissioner in Cyprus, and, later, Mr De Soto, "regretfully inform you that Turkey will not be submitting a map"

  Indeed, at the final stage of the negotiations, a number of proposals were submitted by the Greek Cypriot side, which, however, were not satisfied. The Greek Cypriot side pointed out that if the UN was to change the basis of representation in the Senate to a communal basis, reduce the caps on the number of Greek Cypriots to return under Greek Cypriot administration then, in lieu, more territory should be allocated to the Greek Cypriot constituent state (Karpas, Kythrea, Saint Barnabas and Salamis were proposed). This proposal was submitted also in writing, both in the Cyprus talks, as well as those in Bürgenstock.

  It became apparent that Turkey's insistence on her positions and the support she received by certain powers would result in changes to the Plan in her favour and that only those Greek Cypriot proposals that were not inconsistent with Turkey's demands, or which would have been accepted by the Turkish side, could be accepted by the United Nations, or would be included in the finalised version of the Plan. In the light of these dogmatic and erroneous views, any different negotiating "tactics" of "talking tradeoffs" would have barely changed the end result. The opportunity for an agreed comprehensive settlement was lost because no negotiations were arranged at Bürgenstock and because Turkey, with powerful backing was too intransigent in insisting on her strategic and territorial aims on Cyprus, while the Secretariat was determined to end the interminable procedures, mainly by satisfying the demands of Turkey, even if the result was not a "just solution". For reasons unknown, or on the basis of incorrect information or assessment of the Cyprus political scene and the feelings of the Greek Cypriots, the Greek Cypriot side was wrongly taken for granted and that they would accept any type of a "solution".

  In any event, even if as a result of the envisaged referendum, the settlement was not approved, (as was the case on 24 April), a major aim would have been achieved for Turkey's backers; ie that Turkey was cooperative and desirous of settling the Cyprus problem, so that her occupation of Cyprus should not be invoked to deny her application for a commencement date for EU accession negotiations. In such effort, to bring Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots on board by satisfying all Turkish demands, a very important point had been missed. Greek Cypriots also had a public opinion and they also had to give a "yes". The Greek Cypriot community is a highly politicised community (even our football teams are politically branded by people), and it is, furthermore, a highly literate community, proudly being amongst the three top countries in the world with the highest ratio of University degree holders to population. Consequently, nobody can easily mislead them, primarily on political issues involving the future of their country. The ordinary Cypriot knew exactly what he was voting for in the referendum and why he did so.

  The Greek Cypriot side showed its desire for substantial negotiations and for a functional solution by its considerable contribution to the work of the Technical Committees. It was the Greek Cypriot side, which drafted almost in their entirety the Federal Laws, since the Turkish Cypriots were unwilling to cooperate. Unfortunately, the UN, without any negotiations, adopted Turkish amendments modifying crucial laws in a way that would hamper the independent functioning of the UCR, eg Law on the Continental Shelf, whereby Cyprus could not even explore, let alone exploit, her continental shelf right along the northern and much of the eastern coasts until Turkey agreed to a demarcation. The finalisation of these laws, by the United Nations, was never negotiated, but these laws were simply delivered, in their final form, in the last five days of the Bürgenstock meeting.

  A similar procedure was followed in the Treaties Committee whereby the UN Secretary General accommodated in his Plan "treaties" that were designed to integrate the "TRNC" into Turkey and which would have had a similar effect on the UCR had the Plan been accepted. There were also interferences with Cyprus's Treaty with Egypt on the delimitation of the exclusive economic zone. They also excluded from the list of Treaties binding on the UCR, such an important treaty, like the Treaty of Montreux, while inserting unacceptable agreements between Turkey and the "TRNC" on the FIR, coastal security and Search and Rescue.

  The Turkish Cypriot side even sought recognition of the "TRNC" in devious ways, and demanded massive EU derogations and rights for all Turkish settlers to remain. Changes also sought to diminish the UN peace-keeping force's mandate. Changes sought by the Turkish side subverted not only the procedure agreed in New York, but also the delicate balances of the Plan between the respect for the human rights of refugees and the needs of persons currently using the refugees' houses. Turkish Cypriot proposals were seeking to legitimise ethnic cleansing and land confiscation while virtually completely abandoning refugees' rights.

  The disappointment of the international community, for not arriving at a settlement, is fully understandable. The Republic of Cyprus shares 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 solution, to be viable and to withstand the test of time, must be just and perceived as such by the people who have to live with it.

  The views of friends of Cyprus from abroad that Annan Plan V is a "unique" plan or that it is a "fairly balanced Plan" are respected though the Ministry of Foreign Affairs disagrees with such assessment. The question, the ordinary person in Cyprus asks, is: "if the foreign politicians claim the right to pontificate that the Plan `is fair and good for Cyprus', don't we, the people and the residents of Cyprus, who will eventually have to live with this for the time to come, have, at least, the equal right to say that the Plan is not viable and is not good for the people of Cyprus?"

  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 have not rejected the solution of the Cyprus problem; they have not approved this particular Plan.


  Though this particular effort did not succeed in resolving the Cyprus problem, the Government of the United Kingdom, and the international community should remain committed in 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. After all, the United Kingdom has long-standing relations with Cyprus, and important interests with the Republic of Cyprus, and the feelings of the majority of the people of Cyprus, towards United Kingdom, should not be ignored or allowed to damage this long-standing relationship.

  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, entitled (a) "UN Secretary General's Plan for a Cyprus settlement", and (b) "Cyprus: Bürgenstock: The Final Day (31 March), Summary", 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. Such actions run contrary to the provision in the plan that it would be null and void in case of its rejection.

  The Greek Cypriots 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, as expressed during the voting. There is a feeling that the British policy towards Cyprus, although in words purports to aim for the reunification, in actual terms consolidates the division and the alienation of the two communities bringing feelings of disappointment to the Greek Cypriot community.

  One should bear in mind, that, in absolute numbers, the "YES" vote of the Greek Cypriots and the "YES" vote of the Turkish Cypriots, (even including the votes of the settlers), combined are far less of the "NO" vote of the Greek Cypriots.

  The Government of the Republic of Cyprus regrets the inclusion in the "strategic partnership" document, signed between the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom with Mr Erdogan, of a paragraph affecting the interests of the Republic of Cyprus (". . .in order to end the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots following their strong support for the Comprehensive Settlement of the Cyprus problem proposed by the UN Secretary General to work within the UN, the EU and bilaterally to promote greater direct commercial, economic, political and cultural contacts between the UK, the EU and the Turkish Cypriot side." It is odd that a partner in the European Union is signing an action plan (agreed during the British and Turkish Prime Ministers meeting, in Ankara on 17 May 2004) with an EU candidate Country, to work together, in relation to a segment of the population, and against the interests, of a partner in the EU.

  Such a policy can affect the United Kingdom'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.

  There is a number of good reasons for which the United Kingdom's interests can be promoted through good relations with the Government of the Republic of Cyprus.

  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 encourage both communities to implement the EU Regulation on the green line (No 866/2004), which provides for intra island trade and for exports to the EU through the legal ports and airports of the Country. The Regulation entered into force on 1 May 2004. Combined with the Commission's implementing rules adopted on 7 July 2004, it provides the legal machinery for the crossing of persons and goods across the line.

  It should be realised, that the so-called "economic isolation" of the Turkish Cypriots is, to a great extent, self-imposed. A great example of this very fact is the introduction of the Turkish lira as the currency of the illegal secessionist entity in the occupied areas of Cyprus, basically for political reasons. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of The Republic of Cyprus strongly believes that the so-called "direct trade" is purely a political reward for the Turkish Cypriots, not justified by economic considerations.

  The United Kingdom should not support and promote proposals for "direct trade" from the northern part of the island. Such a measure does 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. On the contrary, it infringes on Cyprus's sovereignty, it would help to solidify and deepen the division of the island, and would give a political message to the Turkish Cypriots that they do not need to cooperate with the Greek Cypriots. There is no question whatsoever in international law and practice that it is the exclusive sovereign right of states to define the points of entry and exit of both goods and people. This has also been verified by the Legal Service of the Council during the discussions on this issue at the COREPER meeting of 22 July. The Council Legal Service has also affirmed that legal basis proposed by the Commission for the "direct trade" Regulation (Article 133 of the Treaty of the EU, which deals with trade with third countries) is not the appropriate one.

  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 British Government should respect resolutions of the Security Council on Cyprus and avoid actions to weaken Resolutions 541 (1983) and 550 (1984). The fact that the Turkish Cypriots voted in favour of one of many UN plans does not change the reality that the northern part of the island is still occupied and 36,000 Turkish military troops are stationed on the island. The United Kingdom Government should underline to Turkey that the presence of Turkish military troops on the territory of an EU partner is incompatible with the British and European values.


  Moreover, the United Kingdom Government should also express support for the Cyprus Government measures vis-a"-vis the Turkish Cypriots, which are as follows:

  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. On the contrary, it is the Turkish Cypriots who turn down such measures in pursuit of purely (not economic) political considerations, in the light of the prospect of "direct trade", which, in this perspective, in fact operates as a disincentive towards unification of the country and its trade.

  In this spirit, a package of measures, to the benefit of the Turkish Cypriots, which have been described as generous by the international community and have lead to tangible economic and other benefits to the Turkish Cypriots, is being implemented by the Republic of Cyprus, since last year.

  Following April 16, 2003, and the unfortunate collapse of the UN talks in the Hague, the Government of the Republic of Cyprus has elaborated on 30 April 2003, and is now implementing, a "Set of Measures" in the framework of its "Policy vis-á -vis the Turkish Cypriots". This package includes a wide range of political, social, humanitarian, educational, and economic measures aiming at providing our Turkish Cypriot compatriots, with the opportunity to acquire, have access to, and make full use of their rights as citizens of the Republic of Cyprus, as well as the benefits arising from the accession of Cyprus to the European Union.

  Measures such as lifting of restrictions on the movement of persons and vehicles from and to the Government controlled area have proved to be very successful. The response of the people on both sides of the divide showed the bankruptcy of the Turkish policy of separation.

  Since April 2003, more than four million crossings have been registered. Since the enactment of the policy of the Government of the Republic of Cyprus vis-a«-vis the Turkish Cypriots, more than 10,000 Turkish Cypriots arrive every day, (a figure representing more than 12% of the population of Turkish Cypriots living in the occupied areas) in the areas under the control of the Republic of Cyprus, earning about $150 million per year. There is equally a significant number of daily visits of Turkish Cypriots at the competent authorities of the Republic, whereby they deal with issues such as birth certificates, identity cards, passports and other administrative matters.

  Many thousands of Turkish Cypriots have visited the medical institutions (of whom a large number receive on a regular basis specialized treatment at the Cyprus Oncology Centre and the Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics); no comparable institutions exist in the occupied areas. Compared to April 2003, the monthly number of Turkish Cypriots treated in these institutions increased by 506%. The number of Turkish Cypriots visiting the medical centres in the areas under the control of the Government is currently to about 1,350 per month.

  Moreover, the Government of the Republic of Cyprus is taking steps for the clearing of minefields and the destruction of stockpiled anti-personnel mines in Cyprus. UNFICYP has begun setting up the necessary infrastructure for the implementation of the project. Special training grounds for personnel have been put into place. The EU is providing Euro 2.5 million, towards the cost for the demining project in Cyprus; these money are available as from 1 May 2004.

  In addition, the Government of the Republic of Cyprus has published in the Official Gazette of the Republic (12 March 2003) the list with the names of the TC whose cases have been submitted to the Committee on Missing Persons. On 14 June, 2003 the list has been published in most of the Turkish Cypriots newspapers informing the Turkish Cypriots relatives about this measure of the Government and inviting the Turkish Cypriots relatives of missing persons to contact the relevant authorities in order to attain and give information about the fate of their loved ones.

  The response by the families of missing Turkish Cypriots has been very encouraging and a number of relatives have already visited the competent authorities of the Republic, where they have received all the information about the fate of their loved ones and have also given blood samples and ante-mortem data in order to help in the establishment of the identity of the remains through DNA processes.

  Moreover, following the accession of Cyprus into the EU, the Government, working closely with the European Union, have achieved a common understanding in order to have products, produced in the occupied areas, exported, through the legal ports and airports of the Country. The genuine interest of the Government, about the economic development of the Turkish Cypriot community, was shown in practice with the announcement and implementation of a second package of measures, on 26 April 2004.

  The Government of the Republic of Cyprus is the first to support the economic development of Turkish Cypriots; an economic development based on the proper criteria that promote the ultimate aim of facilitating the reunification of our country. This has been shown in practice by the announcement and implementation of four packages of measures, of 30 April 2003, 26 April 2004, 16 and 30 July 2004, respectively. These measures have in essence freed the intra island trade of agricultural and manufactured goods, minerals, produced in the northern part of Cyprus, as well as their exports through the legal ports and airports of the Republic of Cyprus. Unfortunately, due to political considerations, such far-reaching measures are not being made use of, due to the insistence of the occupation regime for direct trade through illegal ports and airports in violation of international law.

  Furthermore, a document entitled Code for the implementation of regulation 866/2004/EC of the Council on a regime under article 2 of Protocol 10 of the act of accession was produced, in order to facilitate the free movement of people across the cease-fire line of the Turkish occupation forces.

  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, ie to secure purely political advantages.

  Continuing its unremitting efforts for enhancing cooperation and confidence between the two communities in Cyprus and developing a sense of security among the Greek and Turkish Cypriots, the Government proposed, on 16 July 2004, the opening of eight additional crossing-points along the ceasefire line, demining (which is already, unilaterally, under way by the Government for minefields of the National Guard within the buffer-zone) by both sides of the existing minefields, disengagement of military forces from the walled part of Nicosia, the wider Dheryneia-Famagusta and Strovilia areas, as well as restricting military manoeuvres. On the eight new crossing points proposed, four are of top priority and provide for the crossing of people, vehicles and goods.

  In particular, the Government of the Republic has submitted a proposal to the UN for the unmanning of and removal of all weaponry from military positions, on either side, of the old city of Nicosia within the walls and in the Famagusta—Dheryneia area. The total area covered by this proposal will be approximately 28 square kilometres.

  On 30 July 2004, the Government announced further supplementary measures in order to facilitate the movement and transport of Turkish Cypriots and their goods. As such, the Government decided on the amendment of the relevant legislation, so that public service vehicles owned by Turkish Cypriots are allowed to cross the line, loaded with persons or products, as appropriate. Such vehicles include:

    —  trucks to transport goods for own account;

    —  trucks to transport goods for hire or payment;

    —  tourist buses and coaches; and

    —  taxis owned by Turkish Cypriots.

  At the same time, in order to facilitate the movement of goods produced in the occupied area and the development of contacts and economic relations between Greek and Turkish Cypriots, the Government introduced a series of measures regarding, among other:

    —  the exclusion of the obligation of Turkish Cypriots to register on the VAT Register, in order to sell goods or provide services to persons in the areas under the control of the Government; and

    —  the imposition of zero VAT on goods crossing the line.

  The Government of the Republic of Cyprus strongly believes that the welfare and prosperity of the people of Cyprus lie with the economic integration of the two communities and the unification of the economy of Cyprus.

  The United Kingdom Government should not support proposals, which promote and present a situation of external trade with a secessionist entity as lawful. Not only all these efforts fail to respect legality, but, also, more importantly, the end result is that they violate the very norms from which they try to derive their legal validity. The outcome is a doubtful attempt to legalize an illegal situation in a territory of Member-State of the EU, where the application of the acquis communautaire is suspended, whilst at the same time creating serious practical problems.


  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 Government of the United Kingdom should remind Turkey of those obligations.

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