SEMANTIC GAMES AND THE GREENTREE-2 TALKS ON CYPRUS
Van Coufoudakis, Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Indiana cceia-Purdue cceia
The fifth round of talks between UN Secretary–General Ban Ki Moon, the President of the Republic of Cyprus and the Turkish Cypriot leader has come to an inconclusive end thanks to Turkey‘s intransigence, the continuing compromises made by the Government of the Republic of Cyprus, and the arrogant conduct of the Secretary–General and his representative Alexander Downer.
“Greentree-2” showed in no uncertain terms:
- The total disregard by all participants of the outcome of the 2004 referendum on the Annan Plan.
- The semantic games played by Ban Ki Moon and Downer. Despite the so–called “Cypriot owned talks” the UN presented deadlines for imposing a Cyprus settlement. They also attempted to arbitrate the dispute under the guise of presenting “bridging proposals” to overcome the lack of convergence in the positions of the two sides on critical issues such as governance, citizenship, property, et.al.
- The Secretary–General‘s intention to hold an international conference on Cyprus with the ultimate aim of imposing a Cyprus solution. Ban Ki Moon appears ready to apply Holbrooke‘s Dayton Conference model in the case of Cyprus.
- The Secretary–General, under Anglo–American and Turkish pressure, seeks to impose a Cyprus solution prior to 1 July 2012, when the Republic of Cyprus assumes the EU presidency. In this manner, the internationally recognized Republic of Cyprus will be disbanded and replaced by a new “United Republic of Cyprus”. The EU presidency will legitimize that new political entity.
- The arrogance of Alexander Downer. His role as independent mediator had already been compromised in 2008 when it was disclosed that the Government of Turkey was a client of his consulting company. Since his appointment, he has continued to show his contempt for the Republic of Cyprus by equating it to the illegal pseudo–state created by the Turkish army in occupied Cyprus, despite the fact that the Republic of Cyprus has been a UN member since 1960 and a European Union member since 2004.
- The UN Secretary–General, under Anglo–American direction, seeks to close the book on Cyprus with a settlement legitimizing the outcome of the 1974 invasion. A settlement acceptable to Turkey is expected to improve Turkey‘s EU prospects.
- The UN Secretary–General, the guardian of international legitimacy, has shown total disregard for the rule of law and for the European Convention on Human Rights. The Anglo–American inspired constitutional model of the so–called” bi–zonal, bi–communal federation” that the UN has tried to impose on Cyprus violates the European Convention of Human Rights because it is based on discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, religion and language.
- Despite the outcome of the 2004 referendum on the Annan Plan, the Government of the Republic of Cyprus has continued making new concessions to Turkey despite Turkey‘s daily threats against the territorial integrity and independence of the Republic of Cyprus and its unwillingness to recognize the existence of the Republic of Cyprus. Leaks from the talks reveal continuing errors including the rumored acceptance of unlimited immigration of Turks to the new “united” Republic of Cyprus; the creation of two largely autonomous state entities united in a loose confederation; a rotating presidency; the violation of European Court decisions on property, and the limitation of the right of Greek Cypriot refugees and displaced to return to their ancestral homes in the areas occupied by the Turkish army since 1974.
The rumored plans promoted by Anglo–American diplomats, Ban Ki Moon and Downer will eventually be presented to the Greek Cypriot public for another referendum. Despite the total disregard of the outcome of the 2004 referendum, Ban Ki Moon and Downer will find that the Greek Cypriot public cannot be fooled and accept a worse plan than what it rejected in 2004. Semantic games about talks under “Cypriot ownership” and/or threats of recognition of the illegal pseudo–state created in 1983 by the Turkish Army in occupied Cyprus will not coerce the Greek Cypriots into accepting the outcome of the Turkish invasion and bear the cost of that invasion and continuing occupation.
What Cyprus needs today is a resounding statement by credible leaders directed to Ban Ki Moon and his Anglo–American sponsors that the free people of the Republic of Cyprus, as equal citizens of the EU, will NOT:
- Approve plans that disregard the outcome of the 2004 referendum;
- Surrender rights protected by international law and the European Convention on Human Rights;
- Accept any solution providing for the presence of Turkish troops, Turkish intervention rights and foreign guarantors;
- Accept any solution legitimizing the outcome of the 1974Turkish invasion;
- Attend a Dayton style international conference seeking to impose a Cyprus solution;
- Accept any solution based on the unprecedented and discriminatory constitutional model known as the “bi–zonal, bi–communal federation”.
The Greek Cypriots will stand united to protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the internationally recognized Republic of Cyprus. Seeking a settlement of the Cyprus problem remains a priority. But such a settlement must be viable, conform to the rule of law, to the European Convention on Human Rights, and reflect the outcome of the 2004 referendum. Anything less, will not do! A first step in this renewed commitment to resolve the Cyprus problem is to declare Alexander Downer persona non grata. Further, the Government of the Republic of Cyprus must give a clear account of its policies to its legitimate citizens and bring its negotiating strategy into conformity with the outcome of the 2004 referendum.
Looking back at”Greentree-2” my concerns over the course of the UN sponsored talks are more serious than ever before. UN officials have shown total contempt for the rule of law, for the Republic of Cyprus which is a UN and a European Union member, and for the outcome of the 2004 referendum. They have now presented their vision of the end game of the Cyprus talks. This is why time has come for the Republic of Cyprus and its legitimate citizens to expose Ban Ki Moon‘s and Downer‘s machinations and proclaim in no uncertain terms that no self–respecting free people will accept any imposed settlement depriving them of internationally recognized human right; disbanding their country, and placing it under foreign tutelage in order to satisfy Turkey‘s revisionist ambitions.
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