Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Appreciating the support of Cyprus by EPP Chairman Daul

Open Email to EPP Chairman Joseph Daul at the European Parliament

Background information:

14 April: Posting at the European Parliament discussion area
"EP and direct trade with Turkish occupied Cyprus"

9 April - EuroNews slant on Turkish Cypriot Elections
7 April - Clarifications about the 'Foul' by EU Enlargement Commissioner Fule against Cyprus
31 March - Stefan Fule anti-Cyprus Foul at the European Union

Dear Mr Daul,

This email is being written to thank you for the statements you made today (reported on the news from Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation news tonight) in the presence of Cyprus Archbishop Chrysostomos and Cyprus MEPs Mr Kassoulides and Ms Theocharous regarding the matter of NOT lifting the restrictions on direct trade with Turkish-occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus prior to a settlement.

I note that there is no announcement on your website on the matter at this time - the meeting did not take place until late in the day, so there may not have been time for your staff to do that as yet, but one hopes this will happen tomorrow.


With so-called-elections (in the presence of so many illegal serttlers from Turkey) taking place in "Northern" Cyprus on Sunday I believe that any UNEQUIVOCAL statements made - making it clear that the prospect of 'recognition' of the 'north' of Cyprus is a NON-STARTER - would be something which is in the interests of the European Parliament and of the EU, as well as being in the interests of the negotiations in Cyprus and the majority of Cypriots (of both Turkish and Greek background).

If also feel that it would be very helpful if any statement which will hopefully be placed on your EPP website tomorrow could also include reference to the European Parliament's resolution in February 2010 - requiring Turkey to begin NOW to withdraw Turkish Troops and settlers and to return the ghost city of Famagusta to its lawful inhabitants - would be very helpful to the people of Cyprus.

This message comes to you from a pro-rapprochement Cypriot activist based in the UK, and I would like to bring to your attention (and through you to other members of your staff, you group and MEP's) my own contribution towards reunification of Cyprus through the petitions online at:



Also - Cyprus-related videos available online at:

Copies to:
"Takis HadjiGeorgiou MEP"
"Ioannis Kasoulides MEP"
"Kyriakos Mavronikolas MEP"
"Antigoni Papadopoulou MEP"
"Eleni Theocharous MEP"
"Kyriacos Triantaphyllides MEP"
"Mary Honeyball MEP"
"Charles Tannock MEP"
"Marina Yiannakoudakis MEP"

and to

Peter Doroussiotis
President, National Federation of Cypriots in the UK


14 April item on Cyprus Mail regarding the 'Direct Trade with Turkish occupied part of Cyprus' regulation:

Regulation ‘legally and politically wrong’

Foreign Minister Marcos Kyprianou yesterday charged the European Commission with insisting on a regulation that is legally and politically wrong, referring to efforts to resurrect the direct trade regulation between the EU and the north.

Kyprianou repeated the view given by President Demetris Christofias on Monday that the government was not briefed by the Commission on its intention to communicate the regulation on direct trade to the European Parliament (EP).

The minister said he expected the Commission to have had a consultation with the Republic of Cyprus before choosing to send the issue to the EP last December.

“The European Commission insists on a regulation that is legally and politically wrong,” he said, noting that the regulation does not conform to the 2004 Council conclusions and is against the interests of an EU member state.

Friday, 9 April 2010

EuroNews slant on Turkish Cypriot Elections

EuroNews slant on Turkish Cypriot Elections - with a big invisible Stefan Fule EU elephant in the background

Northern Cyprus divided over elections - Euronews

9th April 2010

Every week for the last 35 years, a small UN convoy delivers a shipment of food, gas and other ncecessities to a diminishing enclave of Greeks living in Northern Cyprus. The island has been divided since 1974 – the year Turkey sent its army to stop what it claimed was an attempted coup d’etat by the Greeks in the south.

Cut off from the rest of the island, these people stayed in their village called Rizokarpaso – which became protected under a UN ceasefire plan. The villagers say they will not leave the village where the were born. They want to die there like their forefathers They fear that if they move south, they’ll be beggars with no houses of their own, and no way of earning a livelihood.

Before 1974, there were 3,000 Greek Cypriots here. Today that number has shrunk to 260. Now, most of Rizokarpaso’s residents are of Turkish origin. They were brought in to farm the land abandoned by the Greek cypriots. In the village centre, the local mosque and orthodox church stand shoulder to shoulder. On one side of the street, Turkish cafés and shops. On the other side, the same, but in Greek.

Ali Karadogan is one of Rizokarpaso 2,500 Turkish settlers who arrived here after 1974. He came from Anatolia and was given farmland. He says he was part of a plan to repopulate empty villages and didnt have a choice. His conscience is clear. He lives in peace with his Greek neighbours.

Although the opening of borders since 2003 has brought more Greek Cypriots to visit Rizokarpaso, few stay. Chris Parpottas is an exception. He returned seven years ago to head the village’s only Greek elementary school. Born and raised here, Parpottas said coming back to his own school was a dream come true even if there are only 20 students. He says he understands the frustration of his older peers who never left and are still waiting for a solution. He himself lost his family home. But despite this loss, he claims he has no hard feelings against the Turkish settlers.

Under the 2004 Annan peace plan, Greek Cypriots would have been able to reclaim their homes in Rizokarpaso. But they would have stayed under Turkish Cypriot control. The Greek side voted no. The Turkish side, yes.

Ragbet Buyukdogan came to Rizokarpaso from Turkey when she was four years old. She lives in a house which belonged to Greek cypriots but doesn’t own it. She pays rent to the Northern Cypriot government. Chris Parpottas is her neighbour. But despite the friendly relations, she says only a solution can make her feel really at home.

Today Ragbet is helping out her younger brother, Sukru who owns a restaurant in Rizokarpaso. They are expecting 50 tourists from Iran. Sukrü was two months old when his family came in 1975. He has never left the island. He feels Cypriot and wants a solution. But he says the European Union has let them down: “Before the referendum, some EU countries promised that if we voted YES, the sanctions would be lifted. If you vote YES, you’ll get direct flights. And what happened? We said YES by a large majority and what did we get out of it? The same line, the same old life. Nothing changed.”

These issues are at the heart of the forthcoming electios in Northern Cyprus which pit current leader Mehmet Ali Talat against Dervis Eroglu, prime minister of the self-proclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus or TRNC. They are running for the president of a country which is only recognized by Turkey. But although there are only 280,000 Turkish Cypriots, who they vote for on the 18th of April will have a strong political impact way beyond their small borders.

Talat has campaigned for a bi-federal, bi-zonal Cyprus since he was elected in 2005. But a growing number of Turkish Cypriots, tired of the slow pace and disappointed by the EU’s broken promises, want a two-state solution.

Dervis Eroglu and his party of National Unity are campaigning on this promise of a two-state solution – a popular slogan which has become political music to many Turkish Cypriots. Eroglu’s growing popularity in the opinion polls has led to a concern that time is running out not only for a Cyprus solution but for Talat’s re-election.

Talat says he understands the frustration of the Turkish Cypriots but warns a two-state solution is not up for negotiation. There are too many UN security council resolutions which forbid it.

But imagination or not, the latest polls show that Dervis Eroglu is winning. And while this could be a dream for some, it will no doubt be a political nightmare not only for the international community but for Cypriots from both sides who continue to wait for a solution.


Could the above item by EuroNews possibly be 'tailor made' to help Stefan Fule and the proposal for direct trade with 'northern Cyprus' get a positive vote in the European Parliament on 19th of April as well as to give Talat a boost?

My own comments in uploading the EuroNews item to my youtube were as follows:

While appearing at first hand ever-so fair in its presentation of the issues and ending with incumbent 'President' Mehmet Ali Talat explaining that 'the dream' which 'the electorate' in 'Northern Cyprus' apparently proposes to vote in favour of by supporting his opponent and 'Prime Minister' Dervis Eroglu for a 'two state solution' which is contrary to all UN resolutions the item by EuroNews is a pay-per-slot advert for Turkey's current demand for an upgrade of the 'north' which no country other than Turkey itself provides any recognition to. The invisible Elphant in the election as much as in this reportage by EuroNews is EU Enlargement Commissioner Fule's efforts to get the European Parliament to push through a vote in the European Parliament on 19th April which would be counter to existing EU legislation regarding Cyprus, intended to create new realities through that vote which would run counter to the EU's existing legislation regarding Cyprus, would be counter to those very UN resolutions which Mehmet Ali Talat warns about in the closing section of the video clip, and is likely to be considered both highly immoral and offensive by the majority population of Greek Cypriots and arguably also by many Turkish Cypriots on the island. This is 'rigging democracy' both in the 'North of Cyprus' where the settlers illegally shipped-in from Turkey contrary to the Geneva convention and UN resolutions so they now outnumber indigenous Turkish Cypriots by a factor of 2 to 1 (which the EuroNews report conveniently fails to mention) but it is also an attempt to 'rig the vote' in the EuroParliament to upgrade the statelet Turkey created in the territory of Cyprus which it continues to occupy 36 years after its illegal invasion in order to produce semi-official recognition. This Euronews report is as foul as Fule's own foul against Cyprus within the European Commission, and is intended to serve the interest of appeasing Turkey and easing its way into the EU, rather than serving the interests of CYPRIOTS (both Turkish, and Greek Cypriots).

See the comments in an interview with Cyprus Foreign Minister Kyprianou screened on Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation on 6th April which provides a response by the Republic of Cyprus to what I have termed the Invisible Elephant in both the 'elections' in 'northern Cyprus' and in the engineering by Enlargement Commissioner Fule and certain other forces within the European Union - on this blog here


Meanwhile, at today's Cyprus Mail there was the following article:

Bickering increases over direct trade

By Stefanos Evripidou Published on April 9, 2010

THE EUROPEAN socialists’ call for direct trade between the EU and the north invited a torrent of internal bickering yesterday, just a day after the government’s call for unity on the domestic front.

The government accused socialist EDEK of making “arbitrary” statements and being obsessed with blaming its handling of the Cyprus problem.

The latest incident began when the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D), the second largest group in the European Parliament (EP), released a statement on Tuesday supporting implementation of the direct trade regulation proposed by the European Commission in 2004.

President of the S&D group Martin Schulz said adoption of the regulation would help improve the Turkish Cypriot economy and facilitate a Cyprus solution. He said his group would support the early adoption of the regulation in the EP, which will discuss it on April 19.

Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule raised a few eyebrows when he recently sent the draft regulation to the EP, returning to an issue first raised six years ago when the EU pledged aid and trade to the Turkish Cypriots as a reward of sorts for their ‘yes’ vote in the Annan plan. In explaining why he had failed to mention the rebirth of the regulation to Foreign Minister Marcos Kyprianou in their recent meeting, Fule argued that the procedure had started last December with his predecessor, based on the new rules that apply under the Lisbon Treaty.

The Cypriot government had considered the effort to push through direct trade dead in the water based on the argument that this was not a matter of international trade, since northern Cyprus is part of the Republic, as stipulated in Protocol 10 of the Accession Treaty. This view was supported by the European Council’s Legal Service which shared a similar legal interpretation.

However, the Commission holds a different view, which coincides with that of Turkey; mainly that the EU has failed to keep its promise to end Turkish Cypriot “isolation”. The latest step by Brussels reveals the draft regulation was more of a dormant volcano than a dead duck. One official source said the move was two-pronged, first, to put pressure on Greek Cypriots for a solution while giving Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat a much-needed push in his re-election bid.

The fact that the S&D group supports the regulation hugely increases its chances of passing the first hurdle, which is the EP.Iit must then pass through the European Council, which will decide using qualified majority voting, meaning the Republic no longer has a veto on the issue.

Schulz’ announcement was met with surprise by the government, the socialist party EDEK which is a member of the S&D group, and the two Cypriot deputies in the EP who also belong to the S&D group, DIKO’s Antigoni Papadopoulos and EDEK’s Kyriacos Mavronicolas.

Following heightened diplomatic activity, Schulz released a second “corrective” statement yesterday saying the S&D’s clear position on Cyprus is that it wants a solution as soon as possible to ensure stability in the region.

“In this sense, we have always supported financial assistance to the Turkish-speaking population and direct trade in order to strengthen the inner-Cypriot integration. However, it is evident, that in parallel the Ankara Protocol must be fully implemented. Turkey must recognise the Republic of Cyprus as it recognises every other EU-member state.”

EDEK and the government exchanged barbs yesterday over who was responsible for the clarification statement.

EDEK leader Yiannakis Omirou accused the government of bad handling of the Cyprus problem, which had brought on negative international developments and invited pressure exclusively on the Greek Cypriot side, he said.

Meanwhile, Omirou attributed the second S&D statement to the actions of his party, saying he had spoken to them about the need for a corrective statement.

This in turn invited a volley of fire from government spokesman Stefanos Stefanou who said Schulz’ initial statement had nothing to do with the actions of the Greek Cypriot side.

“What madness is this... I think we should all be more careful not to create wrong impressions,” said Stefanou. He accused Omirou of trying to take all the glory for the second corrective statement when in fact President Demetris Chritofias had made intensive efforts along with Greek MEPs from socialist PASOK to counter the S&D position, resulting in a phone call between Christofias and Schulz and the subsequent second statement.

The spokesman noted that Christofias had the courtesy to inform Omirou about the latest development by phone. “Mr Omirou omitted to mention this,” said Stefanou, adding, “If Mr Omirou was going to be fair, he should have referred to that and not said ‘we acted to get this result’, because it was the president that had informed him of it.”

EDEK hit back saying that Omirou was referring to the actions that he and his MEP Mavronicolas had taken to handle the issue.

Meanwhile, the two MEPs, Papadopoulos and Mavronicolas, acknowledged in a letter to Schulz that they had not been informed by the S&D prior to its decision to support direct trade.

My own comment at the Cyprus Mail article was:

This is smelling filthier and filthier on the part of the EU as each day progresses.

But there again, international politics is indeed a pretty filthy business when it comes to serving those interests which do wish to get Turkey into the EU !

The interests of those who consider themselves Cypriots - whether Greek or Turkish Cypriots - are not best served when, while all of that is going on, we just "bicker" amongst ourselves !



EDEK leader Giannakis Omirou was interviewed (in Greek) on Apo Mera se Mera at the start of the program (click on item 09/04/2010 at the link below) today about the Schultz statement yesterday


Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Clarifications about the 'Foul' by EU Enlargement Commissioner Fule against Cyprus

(Video of the CyBC broadcast, spoken in Greek, will be visible here once the subtitles in English and the uploading to youtube have been completed)

This item is a follow-up on the item at this blog - here

CyBC Apo Mera Se Mera Midday daily current events TV program (in Greek) 6th April 2010

Interview with Foreign Minister of the Republic of Cyprus, and former EU Commissioner, Marcos Kyprianou

Clarifications about the 'Foul' by EU Enlargement Commissioner Fule against Cyprus

As we heard you say in yesterday's news broadcasts, you have received certain explanations from the European Enlargement Commissioner, Mr Fule, about what happened to bring the issue of normalising of trade relations with the Turkish-occupied part of the island to the fore again, and as we understand it, this has to do with the Lisbon Treaty and that as we understand it, this is a process involving current legislation. Were his comments satisfactory to you Mr Minister, and to what extent?

Explanations have been provided, and an assurance was provided that there has been no attempt to hide this procedure from the Cyprus Government and that the European Commission considered that because this procedure started in December, on the basis of the Lisbon Treaty, that we had been informed. This is the position of the European Commission. The situation now is how we proceed from here into the future. This is somewhat historical, whether it should or not have been discussed, I believe that - without wishing to dispute the intentions of the European Commission - that since there were discussions during meetings between myself but also of other officials with their counterparts, somewhere this matter of the new procedural legislation should have been raised .... but ...

There is a supplementary point, though that is for you to inform us about. If it is true that this matter has been discussed since December, did we just not realise what was going on? We have a representative mission there, we have a Cypriot Commissioner in the Commission ...

Look - since this was an 'automatic' procedure as it appears, with the Lisbon Treaty - in other words the addendum and the European Parliament in the procedure of adopting legislation on the article of international trade and the conversion - because there is now a new regulation on this article - it appears that a beaureaucratic procedure was followed without the matter passing through other stages.

Was it was not discussed by the Commission for example?

So I understand. That is what I understand - that it was a standard procedure which happened automatically with the implementation of the Lisbon Treaty and because it was a procedure between the Commission and the European Parliament our representation could not be informed until such time, unfortunately, until the discussion actually began [in the EP].

And Mrs Vassiliou didn't tell us anything about it ?

Mrs Vassiliou as it appears also was not informed, apparently due to the same beaureaucratic procedure that has already been mentioned, whereby the issue did not get referred to the full Commission - or that is how I understand it - and at the same time we do not have Cypriot MEPs in the particular committee which has responsibility for this specific matter. So, effectively, our being informed would have happened via the European Committee during one of the discussions when this matter was considered, or we would finally have been informed as actually happened, when the particular procedure reached the European Parliament.

And in essence how does it get handled now, and what are the prospects now?

Look. First of all our position is clear and it is linked to, or it is even based, on the legal service of the Commission. The legal foundation of the position which was followed was wrong - a legal position can not be sustained involving trade with 3rd Party countries for trade to be carried out with an area which is part of an existing member country of the European Union. In 2004 it was the whole of Cyprus which was admitted into the Euroeapn Union and anything to do with the (Turkish) occupied areas, in other words those areas over which the Republic of Cyprus does not exercise effective control, then there is the relevant legislation in the accession, Protocol 10, on the basis of which such initiatives must be undertaken. In other words, legally, this process is faulty, which is why it did not proceed for 6 years in the Commission. There was a dispute here with a European Committee. I believe also that the legal interpretation provided by the legal section of the committee was incorrect and that this proposal is related more to the outcome of the referendum in 2004 rather than with any substantive or legalistic accuracy.

On the other hand however, this proposal also is not compatible with the minutes which the Turks, the European Committee and others constantly refer to, the minutes of April 2004 regarding the so-called lifting of the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots - because it is clear that while there is reference to support for Turkish Cypriots it is on the precondition that such an initiative will contribute to the reunification of the island, to the unification of the economies of the two communities and to contacts betweeen the two communities.

This regulation is completely separatist, it upgrades the pseudo-state, and does not in any way bring the two sides any closer, but on the contrary it separates them even more. Therefore, this proposal is both legally flawed but is also contrary to the minutes of the Council of 2004 which it refers to. This therefore is our position on the fundamentals.

From there on, we will therefore act both at the level of the Council and at the European Parliament, pointing out our positions, stressing the points over which this proposal is at fault, and of course in cooperation with our MEPs and the political groups, because the European Parliament is an independent institution which has its own procedures and it is they who decide in the end and therefore it is through our contacts and the cooperation which we believe we will be able to muster that will result in either this proposal being changed fundamentally, or of course for it to be withdrawn.

How could this proposal be fundamentally changed so it could be acceptable to our side?

First of all it would have to presuppose that any trade would happen with respect to legality, and respecting legal procedures - in other words originating from the approved ports and airports of the Republic of Cyprus and avoiding the illegal and closed ones, to be accompanied by the necessary documents with the agreement of the Republic of Cyprus which would allow such trade - and for all procedures to be followed as envisaged by Cypriot legislation. And of course the main thing is that illegal ports and airports will not be used, and that the correct legal framework will be used because of course we will never accept that the occupied territories constitute 'foreign territory' or a 3rd party country. The occupied territory is part of the Republic of Cyprus.

We have already noted your reference, and it was three times, that the occupied territory is not a 3rd party or third country, and that the basis on which we acceeded and protocol 10 it is the entirety of the Republic of Cyprus acceeded with all its territory, and your reference that this initiative - instead of unifying it upgrades the pseudo-state and that on this it is at fault both legally and in other ways. Do you feel, or do you suspect that, or do you have indications that this entire story may be yet another effort very precisely to upgrade the pseudo-state in order to support for example one of the two candidates during the elections in the occupied areas?

Now, I am really not a supporter of conspiracy theories, in order that I will be clear. This procedure was introduced in 2004 and I am telling you clearly that I was a member of the Commission at that time - I disagreed of course with the adoption of this position and it was clearly at that time a case of exceedingly favourable treatment of the Turkish Cypriots and if you like a negative approach to Greek Cypriots because of the results of the referendum. Because this procedure does not offer absolutely anything in economic or trading terms to the Turkish Cypriots in relation to the regulation on the Green Line which was not only adopted but has now been functional for quite a few years - it offers nothing further through this regulation other than the use of their ports and airports. In other words one is led to conclude that it was a 'reward' to the Turkish Cypriots at cost to the Republic of Cyprus. That was clear.

In other words there was intentionality ...

That was in 2004 ...

But now that is not the case?

... but from that time when it was adopted and it remained on the table, because this was translated into being a so-called 'promise' by the European Union to the Turkish Cypriots. There is no such 'promise'. It does not exist. The only committment which does exist in the minutes of the April 2004 Council, which I referred to earlier, are those preconditions which lead to reunification - not to something like this.

From there on, both members of the previous Commission, and the current Commission continue to insist on this procedure. I had said some time ago that normally this should have been withdrawn, because a regulation which remains outstanding at the Commission for six years and is not adopted lapses, and therefore practically it is withdrawn. Due to political sensitivities, it remained on the shelf but did not get promoted, either by the one side or by the other. In other words the Commission itself did not put it forward.

Now, on the pretext of the Lisbon Treaty, I believe that there was found over and above the automatic and the typical which existed before December - I believe a new opportunity was found to put this regulation forward again by the European Commission which never abandoned its support for this proposal.


Part 2

And why do I say this? Because there is clear disagreement within the committee on this matter, a lasting disagreement, but the committee never changed its position because effectively, and I hope you will allow me to use the terminology that it was a 'lost game', in the Commission - it would never pass in the Commission. Now, however, that there is an opportunity in the European Parliament because it is considered to have better chances it is trying to use this new procedure. But this, having started some months ago, did not at the time when it started, I believe, have in mind what is happening in the occupied areas today.

From there on, the fact that in the last month an impetus was provided by admittedly administrative personnel of the Committee, that is open to interpretation, and everyone can reach their own conclusion. In my position I can not 'create situations' as such, I can simply present facts to you.

Those who do however ... they could be right ....

What I can say is that the precise time chosen is not so significant, for us, because there is a problem of essence ...

So it is the essence which ...

... in other words, whether it happened in March, or it happened in May ... there is a problem, and that problem will be handled in the manner which I have already described.

We were impressed yesterday by your statement, saying "I want them to refer to the judgement of the European Court (of Human Rights, on the Demopoulos v. Turkey case), and for the Commission to note it, as long as it notes it correctly - and note all its clauses, not selectively ....

I didn't actually put it that way - that I want it to be noted. You will remember that I said that the European Commission tends to include positions by the European Court in its reports ...

You said that I want it to do that, and if they do ...

... but if it notes it, it must do it correctly. Because there are references to past ECHR judgements, some of which were positive for us, but also some which were not quite so positive. When there was the first implication, that it may be that the Property Commission may fulfill the conditions, that was included, so there is a process here. But what is significant, and this is where I want to see whether the European Commission is indeed objective - that it be noted and that it should be included in the correct way, not that it should make its own interpretation, or that it include the interpretations made by others. In other words it should note that it is an organ of Turkey, not of the pseudo-state, that Turkey remains responsible for what happens in the occupied territories, because this is important when we are discussing chapters which are related with what is happening in the occupied territories in certain matters, and there was an objection on the part of certain partners for there to be reference to Turkey's responsibilities. Now, with this judgement, which certain parties refer to from their own perspectives, it is repeated one more time that it is Turkey which has responsibility for the respect of human rights in the occupied areas. This must be noted. Also of course that the rights of original owners remain undiluted.

So, while this procedure does exist, we want to see that there is correct notation.

By correct, you mean in essence that they should adopt the phrasaeology, the arguments and the legal positions expressed by the court itself, and not to interpret it their own way and choose to rewrite it in different words.

Yes, or for there to be a selection of only one part of the judgement which may for arguments sake may be favourable to the Turkish Cypriot side and ignore the rest of the conclusions of the court which confirm older judgements which are important regarding the legal correctness of existing circumstances.

Do you have in mind whether a procedure has started within circles at the Commission for this to be noted ...

Look ... every year a report is prepared about Turkey, and relevant references are made, therefore it is a matter of time. Also, don't forget that there is a particular obligation on the Committee to bring, beyond the report itself and on the basis of the minutes from December, to bring a report regarding Turkey's obligations towards Cyprus. Therefore, in either the one or other report, I believe that this matter will be noted, but in so far as they will refer to previous minutes, we are concerned that this should happen in the correct way and not, as perceptively pointed out by one journalist, as an effort to legalise this body as an organ of the pseudo-state while it is actually an organ of Turkey.


Part 3

There is also an initiative underway, involving a letter to the President of the United States from the President of the Republic, and to European leaders, on the matter of Famagusta. Did you find a meeting of minds in Washington on this matter, Foreign Minister, a town which for so many years has been .... I'm not quite sure how to refer to it, we often call it a ghost-town, estranged, deserted and surrounded by barbed-wire ...

Of course there is interest, and when one presents the facts - and that is why in order to be practical, I have summarised the case regarding Famagusta into two pages providing all the basic issues, point by point, starting with the High-Level agreement of 1979 up to the latest report in December 2009 by the [UN] Secretary General which holds Turkey responsible for the status -quo in the occupied territories, in occupied Famagusta, plus of course the resolution by the European Parliament, which are the latest developments, as well as the letters by the president.

I see that there is interest on this matter - what we seek is logical, it is something which will generate trust both in the Greek Cypriot public perception but also more widely in the international community, that there is a good prospect both for the talks but that will also build the confidence of both sides - but it is also a fact, which is something I put greater stress on, which involves Turkey. It is not something which can be resolved through talks between President Christofias and Mr Talat, nor is it a matter which affects the Turkish Cypriots within their own community ... it is something which, as I have told you, on the basis of the Report by the Secretary General himself, is a responsibility clearly of Turkey. Therefore, Turkey will have to prove its intention. Unfortunately, we all know, that the ultimate control of Famagusta, particularly of the closed-off area, is in the hands of the Turkish army. That is where we will see how much influence the Turkish Government, and the international comunity, can have on the approach of the Turkish Army.

However, I believe that with the explanations which we are providing, with the promotion of the subject, we hope there will be a positive conclusion. It is logical for us to seek, as a first phase, the provision of access to [reconstruction] experts. I can not understand the logic of anyone objecting to this matter, yet if Turkey refuses, I believe it will remain exposed, and it will be exposed as not having good faith on a humanitarian, technical and non-political matter which will however give the correct message. Therefore it is something which we will continue to follow, and will continue to raise.

Mr. Minister, before we thank you for appearing with us, we would also like to ask you about what is happening in the occupied territories - the talks are at an interval, and on the 18th of this month there will be the so-called elections in the occupied areas. How do you feel these elections will influence, if you feel that they will influence matters.

Of course, firstly, we have said from the start that the final say is with Ankara, and this is something we also stress during our contacts abroad. Of course, no one can agree to a solution on the Turkish Cypriot side if a green light is not given by Ankara, and if Ankara is not positive on the matter. This is so, not only because we say this, but because even the December Council - and even though unfortunately some parties got stuck on how many chapters, and if certain chapters were frozen or not - and they left aside the issue of the Council arriving at a recognition of the important and critical role of Turkey in the procedure for the solution of the Cyprus problem. Therefore the key is there, in Ankara.

On the other side of course, if there is a negotiator who is completely negative, then matters become much more difficult. Of course you will ask me whether this does not leave Ankara even more exposed, in that it will no longer be able to hide behind the Turkish Cypriot negotiators, but will have to take a clear position - but on the other hand matters become much more difficult in the procedure between the two communities. A positive negotiator starts at least from a common position, even if we do not agree on the content and the details - we can at least work on these details. And here again, if the negotiator is sincere and genuinely constructive, Turkey is again left exposed because it will have to intervene to prevent this positive outlook. So, if you ask me, what is important is not only for there to be elected a leader of the Turkish Cypriot community, a negotiator who is positive towards a solution of the Cyprus problem, but simultaneously for him to have the courage and be able to take positions, even if Ankara possibly has a different approach, exactly in order to force them to follow. Now, I realise this is an extremely lofty expectation, but it would be the ideal which we could have in these negotiations.

But that which we stress to everyone we talk to is that yes, we would like to have a positive negotiator, but if Turkey does not maintain a correct position then there can not be a positive outcome to these negotiations.

Do you have a current choice, or are you speaking in general?

Alright - I think the positions of the two leading candidates are known. It is not a matter of choice - it is a matter of seeing where each of them stands with reference to these negotiations, and what basic position they begin from. If they begin from the basis of trying to find a solution on the basis of a Federation, or from a principle that there are two states in Cyprus. I don't think there is any reason for me to take a position in favour of one or the other candidate, but I think the positions of the two sides are known.

What I will stress however, and I have mentioned this during my contacts abroad - there are two further requirements. The first one of course is that, and this is with reference to the process in the occupied areas - that the anxieties and concerns of the Greek Cypriot side must not be ignored and for all efforts to be concentrated on the Turkish Cypriot side, because that was exactly the mistake which was made in 2004.

Such efforts must serve the interests also of the Greek Cypriots, and we must not be alone while the entire international community tries to support the Turkish Cypriot side. This is of particular importance and it is a matter which I raise during meetings which I have.

On the other hand, another matter which I consider significant is that our own down-to-earth, realistic, cool-headed approach to matters of where there is progress, where there are disagreements, where there are difficulties, how much more time will be needed, must not be allowed to be misinterpreted by the Turkish Cypriots, or the Turkish side more generally if you like - that we are negative towards a solution.

Looking at statements made by Mr Nami a few days ago - to say simply that you want a solution tomorrow is meaningless if you don't work and if you are not constructive in order to achieve that solution.

And it is significant, exactly because we are more serious, and more specific - and I provide a more realistic picture of where we are at today - that we do explain and not allow this to be misrepresented as it being us that are allegedly negative and that it is the other side which wants a solution. In other words I find it ironical to have the Turkish Cypriot side saying that we must understand that the status-quo can not be allowed to continue. It is we who are the victimes of the status-quo. We are the victims of the occupation. It is the members of our community who were expelled, who lost their properties because of Turkey. I therefore find it ironical to be preached at from the other side that the status-quo should be changed and not be allowed to continue.

These are the things which we have to explain during our contacts because sometimes they forget that we are the victims of an international problem of invasion and occupation and this is what I stress during my meetings abroad.

Thank you very much Mr Minister.