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Media Watch 2005

15 July 2005
Source: Cyprus Weekly
Author: Alex Efthyvoulos
Comment: The following editorial appeared in the Cyprus Weekly of Nicosia on 15 July 2005.
31 years on, Tassos insists: rights remain a must for Cyprus settlement
"... the objective of our side is a mutually acceptable, viable and workable settlement, while the objective of the Turkish side is the political upgrading of the pseudo-state, the dissolution of the Cyprus Republic, the creation of two separate legal entities and the maintenance and deepening of the division of the geographical space, of society, the economy and the institutions... the Turkish side remains immovable in its positions and attached to all the many advantages that the Annan Plan has offered unjustly and inexcusably to the Turkish Cypriot community and to Turkey, ignoring the just and logical demands and concerns of the Greek Cypriot side... Thirty-one years since then, the wounds remain open and painful. Enslaved towns and villages, an occupation army and swarms of settlers, refugees, missing and the enclaved keep these wounds open and prolong the terrible drama of our martyred people... if absolute justice is unfeasible under the circumstances, this does not mean that basic law cannot apply and be implemented in the case of Cyprus."

THIRTY-one years after the Turkish invasion, the Cyprus government continues to strive for a settlement and the reunification of the island based on acceptance and respect of human rights, President Papadopoulos declared yesterday.

"Thirty-one years since then we are still striving for a viable and workable settlement of the Cyprus problem that will reunite our people and our country, on the basis of a bizonal, bicommunal federation. We are still striving for what is basic and self-evident, the recognition and respect for human rights and basic law,'' the President said.

The president criticised those speaking of a wide gap dividing the positions of the two Cypriot sides without clarifying, of course, the cause and those responsible for this gap.

He added that "this gap is natural and inevitable when the objective of our side is a mutually acceptable, viable and workable settlement, while the objective of the Turkish side is the political upgrading of the pseudo-state, the dissolution of the Cyprus Republic, the creation of two separate legal entities and the maintenance and deepening of the division of the geographical space, of society, the economy and the institutions."

Without naming the powers pressing the Greek Cypriot side to accept the controversial Annan Plan, Papadopoulos said:

Not logical
"It is not logical, or feasible that our side is the only one expected to make unacceptable concessions for the sake of bridging the gap, by aligning our logical objective to the illogical Turkish aim."

"The gap will remain as long as the Turkish side remains immovable in its positions and attached to all the many advantages that the Annan Plan has offered unjustly and inexcusably to the Turkish Cypriot community and to Turkey, ignoring the just and logical demands and concerns of the Greek Cypriot side."

Despite this clear denunciation of the Annan Plan, President Papadopoulos repeated nevertheless that "that Plan remains a basis for negotiations. This policy of ours has not changed. All the changes we have discussed during the recent consultations with the United Nations were based on this Plan and it is with this Plan that they are concerned.''

He explained that the Greek Cypriot proposals aim at the achievement of agreed changes to the Annan Plan, "so that the settlement will safeguard the legal interests of the our people as a whole in a common prosperous and united motherland which is now a member of the European Union".

"The gap will remain as long as we say `Yes' to a settlement, while the Turkish side said `Yes' to the Annan Plan and says `No' to a settlement.''

Ceremony
The president was speaking during a special ceremony and concert at the Presidential Palace last night to mark the two anniversaries of the 1974 coup by the Greek junta that sparked the Turkish invasion and continuing occupation. "The coup and the invasion, the crime and the betrayal, amputated the body of Cyprus and plunged Greek Cypriot Hellenism into pain, mourning and agony,'' he said.

"Thirty-one years since then, the wounds remain open and painful. Enslaved towns and villages, an occupation army and swarms of settlers, refugees, missing and the enclaved keep these wounds open and prolong the terrible drama of our martyred people.''

The president concluded his address with an appeal for national unity as a prerequisite "for rescuing our country and to justify our people.''

As far as he was concerned, he added, he was ready for "the big Yes, to a viable and working settlement.''

But he was also ready "to repeat the big NO to a twisted and disabled settlement of our national cause."

Expressing his readiness to compromise, he said that "if absolute justice is unfeasible under the circumstances, this does not mean that basic law cannot apply and be implemented in the case of Cyprus.''"