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Media Watch 2004

23 May 2004
Source: Cyprus Mail
Author: Haris Kyriakide
Comment: The following article appeared in the Sunday (Cyprus) Mail of Nicosia on 23 May 2004.
Annan Plan serves everybody’s interests but our own
"...all we want any more is peace and justice; instead of an unfair and in most aspects racist regime imposed on us. We want democracy...Why should we, the Cypriots as a whole, be considered second-class human beings... Is it really possible finally to have peace in a country where settlers from occupying Turkey will in fact rule it? Or in a country where the historical citizens are denied the basic human rights and fundamental freedoms, including not only ownership, but also the right to vote and be voted for in the affairs of their place of residence? Or by imposing the will of a minority on the majority of 80 per cent? Or where foreign powers will continue having the right to intervene in our internal affairs..."

IT SEEMS that since the result of the referendum in Cyprus, the island’s problem has once again risen to the top of the agenda of the parties involved as well as those with an interest in the region.

In spite of the “disappointment”, the “bitterness” and in some cases even the “anger” expressed by those who had expected a resolution of the problem, I am sure that all those involved in the preparation of the Annan plan must deep down understand the agony of the people of Cyprus and the real reasons of the outcome of the referendum.

Some 10 years ago, I had the opportunity, in my capacity as of spokesman of the Democratic Party (DIKO), to meet with a delegation of the European and the Cyprus Desk of the British Foreign Office. I expressed my opinion that any effort to impose a solution based on the philosophy of the British, policies based on the “divide and rule” dogma, would only bring us to an impasse and that the efforts should be directed towards a solution based on the mutual interests of the UK and Cyprus.

The response to that was a surprising, “Are you serious Mr Kyriakides?”

I replied: “Find me the conflict: all these years you had your finger in the messy pie, and you cannot deny it; you drew the partition line on the map of Cyprus in the early fifties, and in fact were involved in enforcing it on the ground in 1974. OK, our national aim for union with Greece, I accept that that was in conflict with British national interests. But all we want any more is peace and justice; instead of an unfair and in most aspects racist regime imposed on us. We want democracy.”

And even now, with the Annan plan, whatever we asked for had nothing to do against British interests, or the interests of the Turkish Cypriots, or even Turkey. Why should we, the Cypriots as a whole, be considered second-class human beings, and our country be under guardianship, if not a protectorate, of Greece, Turkey and Britian? We are full members of the EU, and Greece, Turkey and Britain are all members of NATO too. What is the problem with sharing with us the prospects of freedom, justice and implementation of international law and conventions, in a democratically ruled country as a partner and not a prospective and very real threat?

Is it really possible finally to have peace in a country where settlers from occupying Turkey will in fact rule it? Or in a country where the historical citizens are denied the basic human rights and fundamental freedoms, including not only ownership, but also the right to vote and be voted for in the affairs of their place of residence? Or by imposing the will of a minority on the majority of 80 per cent? Or where foreign powers will continue having the right to intervene in our internal affairs, keeping military forces on our land and at the same time being the only country in the world without national forces?

And may I ask, how peace and justice, but even the good interests of the people of Britain, would be served by imposing on us the provisions of Annex II, replacing the Section 3 of Annex A of the Treaty Of Establishment in the Anan Plan, denying the right of the people of Cyprus and the Country to “claim, as part of its territorial sea, waters lying between the lines described in the report referred in the Additional Treaty” , when is very well known that in this area that was to be defined “in a report to be prepared by a duly qualified person to be designated by the Government of the United Kingdom UK” there are reserves of gas and petrol?

In short, is it so difficult for the British Foreign Office to reconsider policies that have repeatedly been proved to lead nowhere, and are in many aspects cruel against the whole people of Cyprus, and instead to try us at last as good friends and partners for the sake of peace, prosperity and the mutual good interest of the peoples of our countries, instead of considering us slaves of a colony and humans of a Lower God?"