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Media Watch 2004

01 October 2004
Source: Cyprus Weekly
Comment: The following leader article appeared in the Cyprus Weekly of Nicosia on 1 October 2004.
Devastating blow for Annan plan backers
"The proposed settlement could not have been very good, because it had been rejected by the Greek-Cypriot community in the April 24 referendum" (Josep Borrelll, new President of EU Parliamentary Assembly)

THE oppositions' policy of fierce criticism and mocking of President Papadopoulos for his alleged international isolation and failure to win any backing for his rejection of the Annan Plan received a devastating blow this week that should shock these critics into silence, to say the least.

Following his visit to the United Nations, where he had numerous top-level contacts, Tassos visited Brussels, the capital of the European Union, at the invitation of the Belgian government and will be making official visits to other EU capitals this week.

After a lengthy meeting with Tassos in Brussels with Josep Borrelll, the new President of the EU Parliamentary Assembly came out with the bombshell of a statement that must put paid to the opposition's childish petty carping and refusal to accept that the overwhelming majority of the Greek Cypriot electorate had very valid reasons for rejecting the Annan Plan in the April referendum.

Borrell's statement was simply that the EU parliament must take note of the position of the Cypriots and try to find another settlement The proposed settlement could not have been very good, because it had been rejected by the Greek-Cypriot community in the April 24 referendum, he said.

The Cyprus Weekly proposed a long time ago that the Annan Plan needed to be examined by the Parliamentary Assemblies of both the EU and the Council of Europe to determine whether its provisions conformed with the EU acquis and the UN Human Rights Charter.

After all, Kofi Annan himself declared in a inspiring opening address before the General Assembly last week that "it is by reintroducing the rule of law, and confidence in its impartial application, that we can hope to resuscitate societies shattered by conflict. It is the law, including Security resolutions, which offers the best foundation for resolving prolonged conflicts around the world."

These wise words apply perfectly in the case of Cyprus, which has been pleading for years for support from the major powers, the UN Security Council and the General Assembly, for a settlement based on respect for the Council resolutions and the "rule of law," which has been clearly interpreted by the judgements of the Human Rights Court of the Council of Europe as an ending of the continuing Turkish occupation of Cyprus and its consequences.

The Annan Plan, which is so staunchly supported by the pro-Turkish governments of the United States and Britain, ignores these Court judgements, and the rule of law in general in connection with Cyprus. It is heartening that at last major political personalities, like the President of the European Parliament, are also beginning to justify the rejection of the Annan Plan by the Greek Cypriot victims of the Turkish war crimes.

It is high time that the Greek Cypriot opposition parties also came to their senses by ceasing their insulting denigration not just of Tassos, but of all those who rejected the flawed Annan Plan and join them in the struggle for a settlement based on the rule of law, and not what the British and American governments are trying to impose in order to satisfy Turkey."