American Hellenic Institute

2017GreekHeritagebutton

AHI Calendar

 
Facebook Image
AHI Hosts Noon Forum on "Cyprus: One Year After EU Accession—Prospects for a Solution" with Dr. Van Coufoudakis
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: C. Franciscos Economides
April 21, 2005—No.33 (202) 785-8430

AHI Hosts Noon Forum on "Cyprus: One Year After EU Accession—Prospects for a Solution" with Dr. Van Coufoudakis

WASHINGTON, DC—On April 13, 2005, AHI hosted a Noon Forum at the Hellenic House with Dr. Van Coufoudakis, Rector of Intercollege in Nicosia, Cyprus. The discussion was on "Cyprus: One Year After EU Accession—Prospects for a Solution."

In discussing "Cyprus: One Year After EU Accession Prospects for a Solution," Dr. Coufoudakis spoke about the April 24, 2004 referendum on the Annan Plan and the ‘no’ vote of the Greek Cypriots as well as the repercussions that followed, why Kofi Annan insisted on holding separate and simultaneous referenda on his plan, the current dimensions of American and British policy, what role the EU played in last year’s failed talks, what the EU can do to help a Cyprus solution, and the prospects for a solution and current threats.

Dr. Coufoudakis explained that the reason the Turkish Cypriot voters supported the Annan Plan was "(1) Annan-5 confirmed the continuation of the so called ‘TNRC’ and expanded its veto rights throughout the proposed ‘United Republic of Cyprus,’ (2) the prospect of an economic future under EU assistance and Greek Cypriot subsidies, (3) the exit of Rauf Denktash after decades of dictatorial politics." He also emphasized that the "Turkish Cypriot approval of Annan-5 cannot be used as an excuse to upgrade the status of the occupied territories. Nothing has changed about the illegality of the ‘TRNC.’"

He addressed the myths on the reasons why 76 percent of the Greek Cypriots voted ‘no’ to this plan as well as why the Greek Cypriots so decisively said ‘no’ to the Annan Plan. Dr. Coufoudakis said, "the negotiation process involved: (1) an ultimatum like invitation, (2) rigid deadlines on a complicated legal text of more than 9,000 pages, (3) the use of arbitration without Security Council approval, to settle the future of a free and democratic society, and (4) the use of threats (from Tom Weston and Alvaro DeSoto) and bribes (UNOPS)."

Dr. Coufoudakis continued to explain that the Annan Plan is not a solution, nor can it be cosmetically transformed to become a solution. The Greek Cypriots said ‘no’ to this plan because of substantial reasons including: denial to Cypriots of their full EU rights such as property rights, the plan prohibited recourse to European Courts regarding these issues; the plan dissolved the Republic of Cyprus and replaced it by a confederation of two autonomous states; the plan created a confederation which only utilized the word "federation;" the plan created dysfunctional governing institutions while foreign actors would cast deciding votes; the economic burden would be born by the Greek Cypriots; nearly all the settlers would be granted citizenship or residence rights and the central government would have limited control over future Turkish immigration; the issue of security as Cyprus would be demilitarized, a strict arms embargo would be imposed, and Cyprus would be excluded from the European Common Defense and Foreign Policy while Turkish troops would remain in Cyprus; and lastly Kofi Annan cancelled the Cypriot ratification of the 1936 Montreux Treaty concerning the continental shelf of Cyprus.

He also noted that, in his opinion, the EU cannot resolve the political problems in Cyprus, because it has not been able to do so in other areas such as Gibraltar, Corsica, Ireland, the Basques, the Greek-Turkish problems (Imia) and others. Dr. Coufoudakis says, "this is why Cyprus needs not only to explain and promote better its own case, but to build the kinds of coalitions that will help promote its interests as Turkey enters the path of EU accession…Cyprus needs to engage in long term planning; needs to decide what it expects of the EU and the UN; in view of the plans presented by international mediators, it needs to decide what is a viable and functional solution and finally, avoid partisan bickering!"

Professor Coufoudakis is President of the AHI Cyprus Chapter. He is also Rector of Intercollege in Cyprus and holds the title of Dean Emeritus of the School of Arts and Sciences at Indiana University-Purdue University in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He received his Ph.D. in Political Science, and MPA from the University of Michigan, and B.A. from the American University of Beirut. He has written extensively on post-World War II U.S. foreign policy, and the foreign and defense policies of Greece, Turkey and Cyprus. His work has appeared in books and professional journals in the U.S., England, Belgium, Italy, Greece and Cyprus.

Attached please find the full text of Dr. Coufoudakis’s presentation and a photograph from the Noon Forum.

AHI Noon Forum with Dr. Van Coufoudakis on “Cyprus: One Year After EU Accession- Prospects for a Solution”.

###

For additional information, please contact C. Franciscos Economides at (202) 785-8430 or at [email protected]. For general information regarding the activities of AHI, please view our Web site at http://www.ahiworld.org.