OP-ED BY AHI PRESIDENT PUBLISHED IN THE NATIONAL HERALD
WASHINGTON, DC—The following Op-Ed article by AHI President Gene Rossides appeared in The National Herald on April 17-18, 2004, page 11.
President Papadopoulos’ "Resounding NO" to the Annan Plan
by Gene Rossides
In an historic televised speech to the people of Cyprus, President Tassos Papadopoulos set forth clearly and cogently the reasons why a "resounding NO" vote on the Annan Plan was in the best interests "of the people of Cyprus as a whole, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots."
It was a brilliant exposition of the serious flaws in the Annan Plan as to functionality and viability.
He stressed that the Greek Cypriot proposals "were fully documented and were within the parameters of the Annan plan and did not take away rights that the Annan plan provided to our Turkish Cypriot compatriots."
The Greek Cypriot proposals covered the functionality of their proposals—the executive, legislative and judicial branches, the Central Bank, common monetary and fiscal policy, regaining of property, the territorial issue, settlers, missing persons, the Karpass and others.
President Papadopoulos stated that: "It is with pain that I conclude that even with the most flexible and lenient judgment, the final Annan plan does not satisfy the minimum aims we have set. Our most substantial proposals were not accepted."
He stated: "In contrast, the Turkish side submitted eleven demands which affect negatively the interests of the Greek Cypriots and which have all been adopted in the final Annan plan."
President Papadopoulos stated that in the fifth and final Annan plan:
Remarks to Turkish Cypriots
President Papadopoulos remarks to the Turkish Cypriot community in his speech were the words of a statesman. He said in part:
"My stance emanates from my sincere conviction that the respect of their dignity and their rights, the granting of even more rights so that they may feel greater security, the recognition of their equality, their equal progress and prosperity are fundamental prerequisites for peace and normality in Cyprus.
We are always ready for the transformation of the present state to a federation that would be ruled by democratic principles and full respect for human rights.
A guarantee for the sincerity of these orientations is our integration into the political system and principles of law of the European Union. This guarantee covers with credibility Turkish Cypriot and Turkey’s security needs."
After reading President Papadopoulos’ speech, I realized that the Annan Plan is even worse for the Greek and Turkish Cypriots than I had originally thought. As presently written:
A NO vote and May 1, 2004
A "resounding NO" vote by the Greek Cypriots on April 24, 2004 will be a very positive development for the Republic of Cyprus because on May 1, 2004, Cyprus becomes a full and voting member of the EU. It will usher into Cyprus a new era and a new negotiating climate and situation.
Cyprus has survived the Turkish invasion of 1974 and occupation of 37% of its territory by standing for principle and pursuing the rule of law to counter Turkish aggression.
The new post-May 1 era will see a continuation of the struggle for a reunited Cyprus based on the rule of law and democratic principles. It will be a war of words and ideas for liberty, democracy, for unity of the people of Cyprus and for what is right.
Annan Plan not in U.S., UN or EU interests
As I have written before, the Annan Plan is not in the best interests of the U.S. for many reasons:
Read President Papadopoulos’ speech
I urge the media in all its elements, editorial writers, columnists, reporters, to read President Papadopoulos’ speech. See http://www.cna.org.cy/newse/for the full text.
Op-Ed by AHI President Published in the National Herald