Select Committee on Foreign Affairs Written Evidence

Written evidence submitted by Friends of Cyprus



  Friends of Cyprus (FOC) was founded in 1974 and has worked to encourage a just settlement for Cyprus.

  1.  FOC backs the demand for the withdrawal of foreign armed forces from the Republic of Cyprus (ROC), endorsed unanimously by the UN in 1974, and with an even-handed stance between GCs and TCs. FOC has organised many meetings between Greek Cypriots (GCs) and Turkish Cypriots (TCs), which resulted in the formulation of a proposal for "cross voting" as a key feature of a viable settlement.

  2.  Although the Annan Plan did not meet some of FOC's central concerns, FOC as a body took no position on it. Many Committee members hoped for a "Yes" vote in both communities in April 2004. The Referendum campaign was far too short and it is likely there will not be a further opportunity before Turkey is given an EU accession negotiation date and a new leader of the TCs is elected in April/May 2005.

  3.  FOC continues to believe that cross voting in elections to the Senate of the United Cyprus Republic is critical to a viable settlement, and that there is a reasonable chance this may prove acceptable to a new TC leadership. It believes that a properly informed discussion of the issue of settlers means there must be a census in the north of Cyprus with financial support from the EU.

  4.  FOC believes that the EU Commission should prepare a full financial and economic plan for Cyprus for the period following a settlement. It backs economic support by the EU to the TCs but believes trade with TCs cannot come under EU provisions for external trade since this would be legally questionable and politically counterproductive.

  5.  FOC understands that referendum exit polls showed the vast majority of GC "no" voters were dissatisfied with security arrangements and the extension of the guarantor powers. The Annan Plan proposals in this respect were not consistent with the UN Resolution demanding the withdrawal of all foreign forces or with the demilitarisation of Cyprus but gave the guarantor powers an even more important role than under the 1960 Constitution. FOC has proposed an international (probably EU) force as an essential component of any acceptable settlement and is strongly opposed to the extension of the guarantors' right of intervention to constitutional order.

  6.  FOC believes a date for EU accession negotiations should be given to Turkey, but that ongoing implementation of the Copenhagen criteria and the principles of international law will be critical. FOC welcomes the ongoing process of reconciliation between GCs and TCs, and calls on all concerned to talk less about "two sides" and to take increasingly into account the wide range of views held among both GCs and TCs.


  The Friends of Cyprus (FOC) was formed in 1974 after the island's fragile constitution was shattered following an attempted coup by the Greek Junta and the Turkish invasion. The FOC Committee has contained both Parliamentary and non-Parliamentary members. Its first Chairman, and later President, was the late Lord Caradon, the last colonial governor of Cyprus. His successor as Chairman, and now himself President, is Lord Bethell, for many years MEP. The current Chairman is Lord Corbett of Castle Vale, with Andrew Dismore MP, Roger Gale MP, and Simon Hughes MP as Vice-Chairmen.

  1.1  FOC has in its 30 years of activity adopted three main policies regarding Cyprus. The first is in conformity with the UN General Assembly Resolution 3212 (xxix) unanimously adopted by 117 countries—including Greece, Turkey, the UK and the US—on 1 November 1974, and endorsed by Security Council Resolution 365 on 13 December 1974. This called for "the speedy withdrawal of all foreign armed forces and foreign military presence and personnel from the Republic of Cyprus (ROC) and the cessation of all foreign interference in its affairs".

  The second is an even-handed approach on issues dividing Greek Cypriots (GCs) and Turkish Cypriots (TCs). Thus FOC became one of the pioneers of meetings between groups of GC and TC politicians, journalists and professionals, first in London and then in Nicosia, between 1979 and 1990. This led to contact with and support for those Turkish Cypriots who wanted to engage in constructive discussion and who have played a huge part in the "This Country is Ours", "Common Vision", the December election result and the overwhelming "Yes" vote in April 2004 in the north of Cyprus. FOC's policy was not to take sides between Cypriots but support those working for a solution.

  1.2  Discussion in the meetings between GCs and TCs led to FOC adopting a policy of support for "cross voting". Under this, GCs and TCs would have the same agreed percentage input in each other's elections for federal bodies. This proposal represents a contribution to the problem of operating a federal constitution with only two constituent states, as it would encourage the emergence of political figures politically dependent on the support of citizens in both rather than on the votes of just one community, as under the 1960 Constitution.

  2.1  UN involvement in Cyprus goes back 40 years to the Security Council Resolution 186 of 4 March 1964. The first set of proposals associated with the UN was the Galo Plaza Plan of 1965. The five Annan Plans (November and December 2002, March 2003, March/April 2004) have a long ancestry.

  2.2  The Annan Plans have already made important contributions, setting the parameters for a settlement of the constitutional and territorial aspects of the Cyprus problem. They provide for:

    —  A Swiss style executive for the federal state, with a Presidential Council acting simultaneously as a Council of Ministers.

    —  A Belgian style relationship between the federal state and the two constituent states where the EU is concerned.

    —  A requirement that one of the two TCs on the Presidential Council must form part of the majority for any executive decision.

    —  A requirement that either 25% or 40% of the TC, as of the GC, members of the Senate, depending on the issue, must form part of the majority for any legislative decision.

    —  A Supreme Court in which three international judges hold the balance.

    —  A radical devolution of constitutional powers to the constituent states.

    —  A one-third, and, not infrequently, one-half allocation of important federal posts to TCs.

    —  A territorial division that would allot the TC constituent state over 50% more territory than their 18% proportion of the population at the last official census in 1960.

    —  In the final versions of the Annan Plan, after pressure chiefly from GCs but benefitting pro-solution members of both communities, a short enough transition period that would not allow either leader effectively to sabotage the new arrangements even before they had become fully operational.

  2.3  The above nine points (in 2.2) constitute a successful attempt to meet the concerns of TCs without, it appears, having led to overwhelmingly negative reactions by GCs, although there remain concerns about functionality. Thus one of the main thrusts of FOC policy has been met in so far as an evenhanded treatment of the TCs is concerned. Unfortunately the same cannot be said in respect of the other points at the centre of FOC's concerns.

  2.4  Although central FOC concerns were not met in the version of the Annan Plan put to referendums, the FOC as a body took no position on it. Many Committee members would have welcomed an affirmative vote both from GCs and TCs, in the hope that working together on island and in the EU, they could have achieved cooperatively the changes they would have preferred in the Annan Plan once they had reached a settlement. Others felt the defects of and the dangers flowing from the Plan ruled out this possibility.

  2.5  All the information received by FOC from Cyprus, from the very moment the fifth Annan Plan was presented to the parties, even if without important supporting documents, on 31 March 2004, indicated that the failure to meet central concerns of the GCs would lead to a massive rejection in the Referendum. In the event the Plan received the support of 65% of those voting in the north, (54% of the electorate registered as TCs, including abstentions and spoiled ballots). Although more GCs than TCs voted affirmatively, there was a 75% "No" vote in the south among the numerically far more populous GCs.

  2.6  Noone doubts that the fifth Annan Plan was presented to the two electorates hastily because of the accession of the ROC to the EU on 1 May. There was little time for voters to read and absorb the implications of the approximately 9,000 pages of documentation, some of which did not become available until 23 April, in the 23 days allowed for the Referendum campaign, which included the Easter festival central to GC life, let alone hold an informed public discussion on documents that would determine every citizen's future.

  2.7  It is a legitimate question to ask why the UN put the Plan so hastily to Referendum.

  One hypothesis, widely accepted in Cyprus, is that the US, while certainly preferring a "Yes" vote by both GCs and TCs, saw a "Yes" vote by TCs as essential, but either a "Yes" or a "No" vote by GCs as adequate for one of Washington's central current foreign policy concerns, namely the removal of the Cyprus issue as a negative feature for Turkey in respect of obtaining a date for commencing EU accession negotiations. The UN was thus not prepared to entertain amendments that might have met GC concerns and increased the likelihood of a "Yes" vote if these might cause a problem to Ankara.

  Another hypothesis among those who have followed the Cyprus problem was that the Referendum was rushed to ensure the GCs did not obtain any bargaining advantage from the ROC's EU accession on 1 May 2004 taking place before a settlement.

  These two hypotheses are not mutually exclusive but the second on its own would logically have argued for a somewhat more open approach to central GC concerns than was in fact displayed.

  2.8  The overwhelming GC rejection of the Annan Plan represents a negative development for a settlement which requires a reconsideration of several of its features but also a renewed emphasis on positive developments in Cyprus. We shall concentrate on those features which run contrary to the FOC policies outlined above. Our suggestions are aimed at achieving improvements without any diminution of the position of born TCs as set out in the latest Annan Plan. We continue to bear in mind the need to carry a future GC Referendum and simultaneously secure the support of a future TC Assembly or carry a future TC Referendum if a future TC Assembly decides this is required. There are areas, particularly security, where it is possible to meet GC concerns without impinging on TC needs.

  2.9  The timeframe we work within is mid-term. For Turkey, and the TCs, the current emphasis is overwhelmingly on obtaining an EU accession negotiating date, on ending the isolation of TCs, improving the TC economy and on testing how far the favourable impact of the TC "Yes" vote can affect various international legal parameters of the Cyprus problem. It is unrealistic to expect any openness to renewed negotiations before December and more probably before the election of a new leader of the TCs in April/March 2005. Many Turkish Cypriots have become EU citizens by virtue of renewing or obtaining a ROC passport. For GCs the rejection of the fifth Annan Plan was so overwhelming and for such diverse but often substantive reasons that it is not reasonable to envisage a settlement without such amendments as would require a new Referendum among GCs, and this process cannot begin until Turkey and TCs are ready, which is unlikely to be until some time in 2005.

  Provided Turkey obtains an EU accession negotiating date but that no decision is taken by the EU which would implicitly recognise the TCs as a body legally separate from the ROC and hence to be dealt with on the basis of the EU's rules for international trade, we consider prospects for a settlement in the latter part of 2005 to be encouraging. This Memorandum now seeks to illustrate how engagement with FOC policies, based on long experience of work with GCs and TCs, can help to achieve this result.

  3.1  The 1960 Constitution broke down partly because voting was based entirely on communal/ethnic lines. Appeals to communal/ethnic solidarity were the lowest common denominator politically. This is all the more true in the context of operating a federation with two constituent states.

  3.2  Discussions at meetings sponsored by FOC during the 1980s led many GC and TC political figures to understand that a major contribution to this problem, critical to the viability of any future settlement, could be made by the introduction of cross voting, a system under which GCs and TCs would have an equal percentage input in each other's elections to federal bodies, of which the most important under the Annan Plan would be the Senate, equally divided between GCs and TCs. Candidates would need to look for voters beyond their own linguistic group or to suffer a political penalty. This in turn would encourage the emergence of politicians who would have a political interest in resolving any impasse or deadlock.

  3.3  The UN proposed cross voting in the course of the 2002 negotiations. The SG's report to the Security Council, after the TC leader's refusal to put the Third Annan Plan to a Referendum in March 2003, stated that the GCs accepted and the TCs rejected cross voting. The UN SG maintained that the provision by which a 41% group of GC or TC Senators could prevent the election of the single-list Presidential Council gave sufficient expression to the principle of co-determination.

  3.4  We feel this is a mistaken view. The requirement for separate minima of 40% of GC and TC senators taken separately, in addition to the need for an overall majority of legislators, in order to elect a Presidential Council, represents a blocking mechanism that would work equally to the advantage of a communalist/nationalist group commanding 41% of either GC or TC votes, as of more cooperative groupings. It might thus lead to the impossibility of electing a Presidential Council except one in which there are sufficient communalists/nationalists as to create the immediate danger of an impasse or a breakdown.

  Cross voting is quite independent of any such blocking mechanism. It would instead operate as a long-term influence of GC and TC political leaders impelling them to become more open to the concerns of "the other" and the interests of "the whole". Given the innate difficulty of operating a complex and highly devolved federal system with only two constituent states, cross voting as a feature of a viable Cyprus settlement is not a luxury but a necessity.

  3.5  In 2002-03 the then TC leader reject cross voting, though leaders of the TC opposition, now in positions of greater influence, were known to be privately favourable. It is to be hoped that after April/May 2005 TCs might also be prepared to accept cross voting. It is not against their particular interests and represents an important general interest of all Cypriots that a settlement should endure.

  3.6  The need for cross voting is all the greater because of the lack of homogeneity in the TC electorate. There are many settlers from Turkey. An exit poll after the Referendum indicated there was a very large differential between these two groups, with 32% more born TCs than settlers voting "Yes". There is also evidence that the major swing in the TC electorate between the December Assembly elections and the April Referendum came from among these settlers in the expectation of legitimisation of their Cyprus, and therefore EU, citizenship under the Annan Plan. Support for the Referendum on such a basis is however a poor basis for predicting such voters would support collaboration between GCs and TCs under a new Constitution. There is a high risk that they might as easily revert to their previous Turkish rather than Cypriot voting pattern once legitimised by the Referendum. This further emphasises the need for cross voting as a feature of any viable Cyprus settlement in order to strengthen the hand of born TC moderates who would genuinely attempt to make such a settlement work.

  3.7  A proportion of the GC electorate is opposed in principle to any legitimisation of settlers, who have entered Cyprus illegally as a result of the military occupation by Turkey. The legal case is strong, but there are three problems. First, there are by now many settlers fully integrated into TC society whose non-enfranchisement would be considered by many unjust. Second, the international community has proven notably and consistently unwilling to enforce international law against Ankara. Third, once the UN accepted the (whole) current TC electorate could validly vote in the Referendum, the UN's attitude to settler legitimisation inevitably became linked to the outcome of the TC Referendum itself. GC efforts have concentrated on limiting the number of settlers to be enfranchised, something many TCs would endorse privately.

  3.8  FOC cannot provide a solution for this difficult problem, but urges:

    —  That cross voting with quite a high percentage input for the Senate, say 20%, can reduce the extent of the problem.

    —  That the EU should insist part of the financial aid now to be given to the TCs should be used to carry out a proper census to establish the demographic facts. Such a demand has been enunciated by a number of TCs as well as GCs. That part of EU financial aid to the TCs should be used to assist the repatriation of TCs who have emigrated as a result of economic problems, so strengthening the proportion of born TCs in the TC electorate.

    —  That any enfranchisement of settlers should be staggered over the long transition period so that they not form more than one third of the TC electorate. This would give more time for the integration of those born and educated outside Cyprus into the TC body politic. It would help provide a more favourable environment during the early years after any settlement. This outcome is however impossible without a proper census.

  4.1  The economy was cited as the main reason for their vote by 5% of the GC electorate which voted "No". Many of them however were businessmen who have been considered natural "Yes" voters. There is currently acute concern among GCs about the high fiscal deficits run by the ROC over the last decade. In this environment the absence of an economic attachment to the Annan Plan was severely criticised, and some calculations were made suggesting the additional costs of settlement were so high that they could not be borne by the federal sate and the GC constituent state. It was also argued that their inability to meet such costs would provide the Turkish military with a reason not to implement post-settlement commitments to GCs the latter considered essential.

  4.2  The UN was unable to present an economic plan in the extraordinarily tight timeframe within which it chose to operate, but can justifiably be criticised for accepting to work within such a timeframe, effectively running from mid-February to 24 April. Had there been more time for discussion of the wide range of estimates, they would probably have been substantially narrowed. As things stand, and in view of the plan having placed the cost of the settlement largely on GC shoulders, an effort needs to be made to turn this reverse into an advantage through the preparation of a post-settlement financial plan by the EU in collaboration with GC but also with TC experts.

  4.3  The EU Commission might also use part of the aid to be allocated to the TCs with the support of the ROC, to meet in advance some of the costs that would be involved in a settlement as, for instance, the building of new homes for those TCs who declare they wish to leave areas to be allocated to the GC constituent state; and in supporting, together with the European Investment Bank (EIB), projects of mutual benefit to GCs and TCs such as the opening of Varosha and Famagusta harbour.

  4.4  By contrast, the EU Commission proposals reviewing arrangements to facilitate external trade between TCs and member states as external trade, proposals with which the Secretariat of the Council of Ministers does not concur, are not only arguably illegal but totally counterproductive, tend to separate GCs and TCs rather than bringing them together.

  4.5  Specific features of the Annan Plan need to be reconsidered from a zero basis to reduce their financial cost. A prime candidate is the Property Board. Far less confidence should be placed in such heavy bureaucratic institutions than in the operation of the free market, not least given experience with similar institutions. The Property Board is already judged in private by many GCs and TCs to represent an open invitation to property speculation and charges of corruption, potentially also to the actuality of shady dealings. The international community cannot afford any scandals of this sort.

  It would meet the demands alike of justice and of the public interest if preference were indeed given, as is already planned, to current holders of property in one constituent state who are prepared to give up ownership of property of a roughly equivalent value in the other; and if, for the rest, traditional property rights were acknowledged. This would encourage Cypriots to own property and reside in their respective future constituent states—a genuine public interest—while for the rest upholding the sanctity of property and the free operation of the market, in general so much more effective than international civil servants, even if appointed by the UN.

  4.6  One of the tragic, if indirect, consequences of the events of 1974 is the destruction of large areas of coastline under ROC control in the pursuit of economic recovery through the development of mass tourism. A settlement would threaten other sensitive areas of Cyprus with the same fate. Given the importance and beauty of Cyprus' natural heritage, three of the world's most important conservation organisations, Birdlife International, World Wildlife Fund and Europa Nostra, appealed to the UN Secretary General to include in his proposals a provision under which equivalent areas in the Karpas and Akamas would be declared federal national parks. This would be evenhanded as between GCs and TCs since both constituent states would be reduced in the same proportion, but would enshrine a common value and broader good as a principle that would unite GCs and TCs instead of continuing the current, clearly unsustainable pattern of shortsighted tourist developments.

  Part of the problem with the rushed 2004 process was that improvements of this kind were not discussed. The current intermission gives the parties an opportunity to consider this proposal.

  5.1  In the Referendum exit poll 75% of GCs voting "No" stated they did so for security reasons. This is demonstrably, therefore, the area in which revisions are most required to carry a future GC Referendum, but where amendments are most unlikely to be accepted if Turkey does not receive an EU accession negotiation date and at least conceivable if and after she does. There is no way any settlement will be accepted if either GCs or TCs feel more insecure under its provisions than they feel today. For those who ask how GCs could possibly feel less secure when the Turkish troop level is reduced, there are two answers. First, the wider range of the Turkish guarantees now envisaged combined with the traumatic experience of 1974 and second, there was no trust that Turkey would implement the troop reduction or that the remaining troops would not be used to affect TC policy decisions.   

  5.2  The system of guarantees adopted in 1960 makes Cyprus a unique state in international relations. In 1974, it allowed two guarantor powers to intervene in a manner most injurious to Cyprus' sovereignty and integrity, and the third not to intervene at all. Lord Caradon pointed out that doing nothing was also a policy. Furthermore, as was argued by the late Sir David Hunt, formerly British High Commissioner, military intervention under these guarantees probably runs counter to the UN Charter itself.

  5.3  The GCs were the main victims of the 1974 events although some TCs lost their lives and many their homes as a result of actions which took place after 20 July. GCs believe they have been the victims of two acts of aggression, one by Athens, one, which still continues, by Ankara, possibly with the connivance and certainly with support after the event from successive US Administrations, whose main effort was to persuade the US Congress to reverse its opposition to the use of US arms in the continuing aggression. It is no wonder intense US pressure for a "Yes" vote was so counterproductive.

  5.4  TCs were the main, though never the sole, victims of the bouts of intercommunal violence in 1963-64 and in 1967—as GCs had initially been in 1958 until EOKA A retaliated. TCs therefore insist on the Turkish guarantee and the presence of Turkish forces, though some prominent TCs have in recent years criticised the control exercised by the Turkish military over many aspects of TC civilian life, including now decisions about the Green Line regulations and appointments in the fire brigade.

  5.5  Over the last 30 years the number of Turkish occupation forces has not declined from around 35,000, although less than a tenth of that number would be adequate to defend a TC constituent state from attack, given Ankara's ability to rapidly bring in reinforcements. Nevertheless there has in recent years been a subtle shift in the strategic balance as GC air defences, which would have been removed in Annan 5, have grown far stronger, being now capable of inflicting considerable damage in the event of a Turkish air attack. Thus GCs have become somewhat less insecure than they used to be and this would have changed for the worse.

  5.6  The only acceptable way for the UN from the resulting dilemmas would have been to mediate the operation of security guarantees through an international force, within which Greek and Turkish contingents would have been integrated. Unfortunately it appears the necessary support from the most powerful Western permanent UN Security Council members was lacking. Instead there was a widespread belief among leading players in the international community that the GCs would necessarily accept whatever arrangements the Un proposed to satisfy the Turkish military, in order to secure Cyprus' EU accession. This always questionable assumption became totally inoperative in March 2003.

  5.7  Despite this the Fifth Annan Plan provided:

    —  Maintenance, with explicit support of the UN, of the system of guarantees into the indefinite future, or until such time as Greek and Turkish Cypriots agree to change their own constitution.

    —  No international force to enforce security, or implementation, but only a UN monitoring presence.

    —  Under the rubric of demilitarisation, the disarmament of Cypriots. Greece was even to be required, against its expressly stated wishes, to increase its military forces in Cyprus between three and six-fold. The GCs would undergo total disarmament including that of their sophisticated air defences. Turkish forces would be reduced to 6,000 until 2011 and 3,000 until 2018 (unless Turkey's EU accession occurred earlier) but they would acquire total air control over Cyprus.

    —  The United Cyprus Republic (UCR) would not be able to participate in the European Social and Defence Policy (ESDP) nor would the EU be able to use its territory without the permission both of the guarantor powers and the constituent states, although the federal state was stated to be constitutionally responsible for defence issues.

    —  There would be no UCR force, to be equally divided between GCs and TCs, that might serve with the EU outside Cyprus, particularly on humanitarian and peacekeeping duties, and might ultimately emerge as an expression of a Cypriot political personality removed from past nationalism.

    —  The application of guarantees was extended from security and a range of constitutional provisions, as in 1960, to constitutional order in both the federal and the constituent states. Theoretically Ankara might even intervene in the GC constituent state, but, far more serious, would be specifically mandated to continue intervening in the constitutional order of the TCs and in the future UCR as a whole.

    —  The Plan's preamble has the GCs and TCs (correctly) determined to avoid a repetition of past tragic events, but no such statement is anywhere ascribed to the guarantor powers who however caused far more deaths and displacement of innocent civilians than all three bouts of violence between GCs and TCs put together.

  5.8  The TCs voted "Yes" to these propositions, which would not alter their current security situation. The GCs gave a resounding "no" to arrangements that would have made them even more insecure and have perpetuated their country's diminished status into the indefinite feature, even if Ankara allowed a settlement to operate, something which many doubted.

  The UN as an institution may one day have cause to feel some gratitude to the GC electorate for upholding the UN Charter and for forcing a reconsideration of the security provisions of any settlement in the light of fundamental ethical and political principles.

  5.9  FOC believes the issue of security and guarantees can only be solved through an international, probably now an EU force, but that this will only be negotiable some time after Turkey has obtained its EU accession negotiating date. All military forces in the future UCR, including GC and TC forces, which should be reduced in parallel with the reduction in Turkish forces but with all defensive systems, especially against air attack, remaining intact until the final stage, would come under the command of this international force. So of course would the Greek and Turkish contingents. The scope of guarantees should be limited strictly to security. Finally the guarantor powers should also offer an expression of determination to avoid the tragic errors of the past.

  6.1  This memo does not cover all issues raised by the Fifth Annan Plan. There are a number of other provisions that require modification, in particular the provisions that would effectively reverse decisions already taken by the European Court of Human Rights.

  6.2  Three issues stand out for the immediate future. First, it is an interest of all Cypriots, very much including GCs, that Turkey should in December 2004 obtain a date to open EU accession negotiations. Fear it might not do so was one of the important secret fears of many prominent GCs since the Turkish military would then have gained "carte blanche" not to implement postdated provisions for the Annan Plan that were important for GCs.

  Giving Ankara its EU accession date is unquestionably the correct course in relation both to the impressive constitutional and legal changes introduced by successive Turkish governments, and to the need for a viable settlement of the Cyprus problem.

  There is no cost-free option for the EU however. No other candidate country has had its military in occupation of an EU member state, no other candidate country has had a "deep state" and judiciary so antithetical to European principles, no other candidate country has a military leadership which still considers it has not just the right but the duty to publicly take a different position from the elected government of the day. Thus opening accession talks should not be considered as an indication that Turkey has met the Copenhagen and external political criteria for EU accession, but rather that the EU is responding to the evidently sincere desire of its leadership that the country should become fully European in the hope and expectation this process, involving full implementation of the Copenhagen and external political criteria, will continue.

  6.3  Second, it should never be forgotten that the ROC is the ongoing victim of aggression against it, aggression which its internationally recognised legitimate authorities in no way provoked. The ROC has a veto over Turkey's EU accession. No country therefore that desires Turkey's ultimate accession to the EU should support any policy by the UN or the EU that would even appear to impinge on the international recognition of the ROC, the whole of whose territory is covered by the Athens Treaty of Accession to the EU. The policy on trade with TCs currently proposed by the EU Commission is probably legally mistaken and is certainly politically counterproductive.

  6.4  If Turkey obtains an EU accession negotiation date in December, every effort should be made to obtaining a Cyprus settlement based on the political provisions of the Annan Plan as soon as possible after the elections of a new leader of the TCs in April/May 2005. Such an effort should be based on a determination not to deprive born TCs of benefits already gained but to make the proposed settlement more viable, more in conformity with the norms of international law and more balanced as between the state of Cyprus and its guarantor powers, particularly the guarantor power which remains in illegal occupation.

  6.5  Third, while awaiting such a favourable development, FOC recommends that all involved in the Cyprus problem should emphasise the positive elements of the current situation. We believe:

    —  There should be less talk about "the two sides" and recognition of the heterogeneity among GCs and TCs alike. Unless this happens, the attitude of a zero sum trade off which lay at the heart of the process that led to the Annan Plan will continue.

    —  We need to engage in a continuing debate with GCs and TCs so that a higher proportion of any final agreement should come from Cypriots rather than, for instance, from a letter of demands by a guarantor power, like that delivered by Ankara at Burgenstock. Consideration should be give to the convening of a constitutional convention in two stages. First representatives of business, the professions, trade unions and NGOs, both GCs and TCs, should seek to agree a constitution for the UCR. Second, this would be submitted to selected elected political representative (both GCs and TCs) and representatives of the guarantor powers and the UN for amendment and endorsement. Such a convention could be chaired by an international figure.

    —  Strong encouragement should be given to all efforts already in hand, in Cyprus and in the wider region, to improve the accuracy of history teaching simultaneously enabling pupils to understand how the same events can be seen from different points of view.

    —  We should encourage the process of change in the TC leadership leading up to the TC elections in April/May 2005.

    —  Support should be given to Ankara's application for EU accession negotiations provided that Ankara recognises the ROC and that implementation both of the Copenhagen criteria and the principles of international law are even more carefully followed after such a date is given.

    —  There should be generous funding of the TCs through official channels, recognising TC municipalities, but insisting that trade with TCs cannot be handled under the provisions for foreign trade.

    —  We should strongly support an arrangement under which Varosha and Famagusta harbour should be simultaneously opened. We welcome the committee which business leaders (GCs and TCs) have established to prepare a draft town plan to integrate the now abandoned part of Famagusta into the newer part of the town.

    —  We should insist on a census in the north as an essential measure for moving towards a settlement.

    —  We should encourage TC representatives abroad to speak in their role as representatives of the future TC constituent state and not of the so-called state, recognised by none except Ankara.

    —  We should support all attempts to continue opening up the Green Line and associated contacts between GCs and TCs.

    —  We should encourage the new EU Commission to consult widely with the many experts, official and unofficial, on Cyprus and to prepare a comprehensive economic plan for the period both before and after a "settlement".

Friends of Cyprus

17 September 2004

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