Select Committee on Foreign Affairs Written Evidence

Written evidence submitted by Tracemed

  1.  Tracemed is an association of EU and US individuals who have a special knowledge of, or a special interest in, political developments in the eastern Mediterranean and in particular in the facilitation of an equitable future for Cyprus.

  2.  Tracemed acts under the aegis of the United Nations Association Trust of the UK.

  3.  Members of Tracemed have had long-standing relations with the current and past leaders of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities in Cyprus from 1964 until the present day.

  4.  We consider, with regret, that since the 1950s Britain has contributed substantially to the development of frictions between the communities in Cyprus and to the subverting of opportunities for communal re-engagement. We do not believe that this was the will of parliament but rather the outcome of a determination among some elements of the Foreign Office, the military and the intelligence community to preserve the security and effectiveness of British military and intelligence installations in Cyprus and to safeguard relations with the Turkish army, which was seen as a primary security- producer for NATO. We consider that there has sometimes been a demonising of events and leadership figures in Cyprus in order to advance supposed British interests.

  5.  We believe that the above were contributory factors in the lead-up to the Turkish invasion of 1974 and in subsequent failures to find a valid solution. We also believe that they have relevance to recent events and particularly to UK/US efforts to orchestrate a solution in the Burgenstock phase of the Annan process. We consider that the Greek Cypriot vote against Annan 5 was a foreseeable reaction to a proposal which, in its final form, contained elements that were inequitable, conducive to ethnic separation and in unnecessary derogation of EU and UN principles. There are reasons to believe that the final formula of Annan 5 reflected pressure from the Turkish army.

  6.  We reject the view expressed by some members of the Foreign Office that the Greek Cypriots must now "pay the price of their folly", that the Turkish Cypriots should be rewarded by way of measures which are conducive to further communal separation or that a lengthy period should elapse before the international community gives further support to the process of communal re-engagement and reconciliation. On the contrary, we believe that the Annan process has moved things forward and that there are likely during the coming months to be opportunities for a real advance in Cyprus that will merit the support of HMG.

  7.  We have a number of concepts that we feel would help towards a communal settlement in Cyprus, including new initiatives in the sectors of education, trade, sport, NGOs and policing and new thinking as to how the EU could facilitate constructive measures. We also believe that the Cypriot people should be given more empowerment as to the resolution of their future, perhaps through a constitutional convention.

  8.  We should be happy to discuss with your committee any matters relevant to Cyprus and to related British policies or actions of which we have knowledge

Martin Packard MBE

Project Director, Tracemed

11 September 2004

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