Written evidence submitted by Friends
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
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 countriesincluding Greece, Turkey,
the UK and the USon 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
statesa genuine public interestwhile 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
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
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 1967as 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
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
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.
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
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
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