Lobby for Cyprus is a non-party-political human rights organisation campaigning for a reunited Cyprus.
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Media Watch 2004

13 February 2004
Source: Cyprus Weekly
Author:
Comment: The following leader article appeared in the Cyprus Weekly of Nicosia on 13 February 2004.
Taking the blame and proud of it
"The Annan plan regretfully, as Annan himself admitted, is an attempt to strike a balance between the illegal Turkish approach and the perfectly legal one of Papadopoulos..."

THE objective of both the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides during the talks with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in New York during the past three days appears to be the desire to avoid being blamed for this latest effort to get the reunification talks resumed. The Anglo-American diplomats hovering in the background have made no secret of their objective, which is to blame both sides, so that Turkey is not singled out once again as the only one responsible for the deadlock, and have the door leading to accession talks with the European Union slammed shut in its face as a result.

President Papadopoulos has been declaring for months, and is backed in this by the Greek government, that he is ready to resume negotiations on the basis of the Annan plan. He adds, however, that the final agreement must conform with the EU acquis and respect for human rights, unlike the Turkish side that wants a settlement based on the illegal 'realities' created by the invasion and continuing occupation.

The Annan plan regretfully, as Annan himself admitted, is an attempt to strike a balance between the illegal Turkish approach and the perfectly legal one of Papadopoulos, who consequently wants to change those provisions of the plan that violate the EU acquis, respect for human rights, and, what is even worse, ignore the binding judgements of the Human Rights Court of the Council of Europe that recognise the right of all refugees to return and to repossess their properties. If Papadopoulos, and the Greek Cypriot side, are blamed for the collapse of the new reunification effort because of this policy, clearly this is nothing to be ashamed of. On the contrary, it is something to be proud of as it is a policy based firmly on respect for international law and human rights. In the final analysis, President Papadopoulos must cease taking a soft diplomatic approach and declare clearly, both in private and in public: "Yes I am to blame because I refuse to accept a compromise that ignores the EU aquis, the judgements of the Rights Court, and respect for international law and human rights in general, AND I AM PROUD OF IT."

He may add that by sticking to such a policy he is defending the rights of all the people of Cyprus, Greek and Turkish Cypriot, to live in a united Cyprus as free and equal citizens of the European Union entitled to enjoy all the benefits, and share all the obligations of the other member states and citizens of the union stemming from respect of the EU acquis, international law and human rights, without any derogations, or watering down of these fundamental principles imposed for the sake of political expediencies in order to satisfy Turkey, a country more famous for its ignoble human rights record, than for anything else. Let those who disagree with their proud declaration hang their heads in shame."