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Media Watch 2005

18 February 2005
Source: Cyprus Weekly
Author:
Comment: The following editorial appeared in Cyprus Weekly of Nicosia on 18 February 2005.
Wise words by Annan
"UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan declared this week that it is the absolute right of the people of a country to adopt their own constitution. There must be no attempts by outside powers to impose anything the people do not like, he added."

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan declared this week that it is the absolute right of the people of a country to adopt their own constitution.

There must be no attempts by outside powers to impose anything the people do not like, he added.

This was no change of heart by the UN chief about his Cyprus Plan, which includes a new constitution, and the intense outside pressure for its imposition as the only way to settle the Cyprus problem, even though it has been rejected overwhelmingly by the Greek Cypriots in last April's referendum.

Annan's wise words were part of a lengthy statement he issued congratulating the people of Iraq on the successful completion of their election. This "has created an exciting moment of opportunity,'' he said.

Referring to the next stage, the drafting of a new constitution by the representatives elected by the Iraqi people, Annan said: 

"Success in this effort is crucial. The new constitution will, ofcourse, be an Iraqi constitution and the Iraqis will decide its shape. There is no question of imposing any external ideas or models they do not like.''

Follow up by Tassos

 The Greek Cypriots are naturally delighted by this clear stand by Annan. President Papadopoulos, who is demonised for rejecting the intense foreign efforts for the imposition of the Annan Plan, must be even more satisfied. He can now use Annan's own words to silence the United States, Britain and anyone else insisting on the acceptance by the people of a constitution based on "external ideas and models they do not like.''

In addition to using Annan's words President Papadopoulos must himself adopt a stronger international information campaign to explain why the Annan Plan was rejected so overwhelmingly. To be more convincing he must at the same time lay his cards on the table by providing a detailed alternative to the Annan Plan.

This plan, or new constitution, must be based on respect for international law, fundamental human rights, the EU acquis, basic democratic principles. Its provisions must be such as to make the plan both lasting and workable.

This will prove to the whole world, beyond any doubt, that the Greek Cypriots want a fair and workable settlement more than anyone, as quickly as possible. The sole aim is that the desired settlement will enable a united Cyprus and all its people to benefit from full and equal membership of the EU, without any derogations from the EU acquis, the unwanted presence of Turkish troops and Turkish mainland settlers imported specifically to the occupied north to change the demographic character of the country in violation of the Geneva Conventions."