“Cyprus: An Assessment of the Annan Plan–Prospects for a Solution”

Author: Professor Van Coufoudakis
On July 21, 2005, the occasion of the 31st year of Turkey’s invasion and occupation of the northern part of Cyprus, AHI hosted a briefing and luncheon on Capitol Hill for Congressional staffers. The speakers giving presentations were Professor Van Coufoudakis who spoke on “Cyprus: An Assessment of the Annan Plan- Prospects for a Solution” and the distinguished foreign policy expert, Dr. Ted Galen Carpenter, Vice President for Foreign Policy and Defense Studies at the CATO Institute, who titled his remarks “Cyprus and Washington’s Hypocrisy.”

Professor Coufoudakis stated that “The Turkish invasion of Cyprus brought about a series of UN Security Council resolutions, resolutions by other international and regional organizations, mediation initiatives by the UN and important precedent setting court cases by international and other national courts, including the Federal District Court of Indianapolis. Over the last thirty years meetings between successive Presidents of the Republic of Cyprus and the Turkish Cypriot leadership, under the ‘good offices’ of the UN Secretary-General failed to produce results. This can be attributed to the failure to implement UN Security Council resolutions, the prevalence of strategic, economic and political considerations over a functional and viable solution, and the intransigent and consistent policies of successive Turkish governments that were based on the assumption that the Cyprus problem was solved in 1974. The negotiations were also affected by the fact that all major concessions came from the Greek Cypriot side.”

“The rejection of ‘Annan-5’ by nearly 76% of the Greek Cypriot voters was not a vote against reconciliation or reunification. It was a rejection of a process that led to a one sided plan perceived harmful to Greek Cypriot interests and to the survival of the Republic of Cyprus…Under Kofi Annan’s invitation of February 4, 2004, Cypriots faced rigid negotiating deadlines and no real time for discussion of a most complex legal document of almost 10,000 pages, a good part of which was not posted on the UN website until the day before the referendum…Promoters of ‘Annan-5’ questioned why the overwhelming majority of Greek Cypriots did not pay greater attention to the positive elements of the plan. The simple answer is that had ‘Annan 5’ been approved by the referenda, it would have been applied as a whole. Whatever positive aspects may have been included in the plan for Greek Cypriots, the totality of the plan was seen as negative to their interests. Fifteen months ago Greek Cypriot voters acted the same way as French and Dutch voters did in the referendum for a new European Constitution.”

He continued, “I will briefly list nine among the many Greek Cypriot concerns with ‘Annan-5.’ These remain major concerns in any future negotiation:

Annan-5 contained major derogations from the European Covenant of Human Rights that deprived all Cypriots of fundamental rights. Other EU nationals would enjoy in Cyprus rights that Cypriots would not.

Under Annan-5 the internationally recognized Republic of Cyprus would be dissolved and replaced by a loose confederation of two largely autonomous states. As Turkey demanded since 1974.

The functionality of the new state was questionable in view of the provisions on the executive, the legislative and the judicial branches, the presence of minority vetoes and of non-Cypriot third parties casting deciding votes.

The Greek Cypriots would bear 90% of the economic cost of reunification which was estimated at $20 billion.

Security issues involving the gradual reduction and continuing presence of Turkish troops with expanded intervention rights, even if Turkey joined the EU. Cyprus was excluded from the common European defense policy and would be totally demilitarized.

Nearly all of the 110,000 illegal Turkish settlers would remain in Cyprus as citizens altering permanently the demography of the Republic of Cyprus. Today, Turkish settlers make up at least 65% of the population of the occupied areas of Cyprus.

Unilaterally, the Secretary-General deleted the Cypriot ratification of the Montreux Treaty and granted Turkey veto powers on continental shelf of Cyprus.
Kofi Annan also granted rights to Britain on the territorial waters and the subsoil of Cyprus, rights that Britain did not enjoy under the 1959 agreements.

The property provisions of the Annan plan violated essential rights under the European Covenant, and overturned important European Court precedents.

In discussing the Annan Plan Professor Coufoudakis stated: “In the final analysis, this is not the time for spasmodic reactions and punitive moves against the Greek Cypriots for exercising their democratic right. Attempts to upgrade the regime in he occupied areas in violation of unanimous Security Council resolutions, unanimous EU decisions, actions by other international organizations and decisions of British, American and European courts will destroy whatever credibility is left to American and EU negotiators in any future mediation. Hiding behind alleged humanitarian motives toward the Turkish Cypriots in order to secure Turkey’s strategic cooperation in the Middle East, will come back to haunt Washington.”

In addressing what the EU can do for Cyprus in the political arena, Professor Coufoudakis says, “It is harmonization of any future settlement to European laws to the acquis communautaire and to European Court decisions from the very beginning of any talks. Cyprus must avoid any last minute accommodation like the one Kofi Annan attempted to impose prior to the accession of Cyprus to the EU.”

“The next few months will prove critical for Turkey’s European aspirations. Especially in the aftermath of the rejection of the European Constitution in France and the Netherlands. In addition to the fulfillment of the Copenhagen criteria, the issue of Turkey’s relations with the Republic of Cyprus cannot be avoided. Turkey, does not recognize the Republic of Cyprus which is an EU member and will be casting votes on Turkey’s accession. The Erdogan claim that Turkey will recognize Cyprus only after a political settlement on the island has run its course. ”

In conclusion Professor Coufoudakis stated, “The next few months will require retrospection by all those involved in the search for a solution. Retribution, or action having the appearance of retribution, in response to a democratic decision by the Greek Cypriot majority will set back the peacemaking process and will undermine even further the already weakened credibility of foreign interlocutors in the Republic of Cyprus.”

Professor Coufoudakis is President of the AHI Cyprus Chapter. He is also Rector of Intercollege in Cyprus and holds the title of Dean Emeritus of the School of Arts and Sciences at Indiana University-Purdue University in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He received his Ph.D. in Political Science, and MPA from the University of Michigan, and B.A. from the American University of Beirut. He has written extensively on post-World War II U.S. foreign policy, and the foreign and defense policies of Greece, Turkey and Cyprus. His work has appeared in books and professional journals in the U.S., England, Belgium, Italy, Greece and Cyprus.

For more information about the American Hellenic Institute in Washington, D.C., contact Georgia Economou, Director of Public Relations for AHI, at (202) 785-8430 or at georgia@ahiworld.org, or visit the groups’ website at http://www.ahiworld.org. AHI was founded in 1974 following Turkey’s illegal invasion and occupation of 37.3% of Cyprus. It is a membership-based organization with members throughout the nation. AHI’s core mission is to promote American values and the rule of law in U.S. foreign policy and to strengthen relations between the U.S. and Greece and Cyprus as being in the best interests of the United States. It conducts an active program with Congress in espousing and supporting legislation designed to promote American interests in Southeast Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean and is registered with the Congress under the Lobbying Act. The AHI Foundation is the first think-tank devoted exclusively to the study of the issues confronting the Greek American community. This organization sponsors conferences, seminars and publishes books and other materials on the issues.

HCS maintains an extensive archives for AHI articles and press releases which visitors may browse under the American Hellenic Institute Releases section of the archives at http://www.helleniccomserve.com/contents.html.

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