Greek American Organizations call for changes
in the Annan Plan in the interests of the U.S.
WASHINGTON, DC – The American Hellenic Institute
founder, Gene Rossides, announced today that the major Greek
American membership organizations are calling for serious changes in
the Annan Plan in the interests of the U.S. to make it democratic,
workable, financially viable and just. The organizations are the
Order of AHEPA, the Hellenic American National Council, the Cyprus
Federation of America, the Panepirotic Federation of America, the
Pan-Macedonian Association of America and the American Hellenic
Institute. Their joint statement on the Cyprus problem follows:
"Turkey’s 1974 invasion of the sovereign
Republic of Cyprus and the Turkish army’s continuing occupation of
37.3 percent of the island with the illegal use of U.S. arms are
violations of the U.S. Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, the UN
Charter, article 2 (4), the North Atlantic Treaty, and an affront to
the international legal order, and a continuing threat to regional
There is no legal distinction between Turkey's
1974 aggression against Cyprus and Iraq's 1990 aggression against
Kuwait. The Cyprus problem is one of aggression and occupation by
Turkey. Viewed objectively, Turkey in 1974 committed war crimes in
Then Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger bears
the major responsibility for the Cyprus problem because he
encouraged and supported Turkey’s invasion of Cyprus on July 20,
1974 and Turkey’s second wave of aggression on August 14-16, 1974,
three weeks after the legitimate government of Cyprus had been
Kissinger violated his oath of office by failing
to halt immediately arms to Turkey as required by U.S. law and
refused to denounce Turkey's aggression, as Britain and most other
nations did. As Ambassador Thomas Boyatt, the Cyprus Desk Officer in
1974, has stated, the U.S. bears a moral responsibility to redress
We support a settlement of the Cyprus problem
through negotiations based on a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation in
a state with a single sovereignty and international personality,
incorporating the norms of a constitutional democracy embracing key
American principles, the EU acquis communautaire, UN
resolutions on Cyprus, and the pertinent decisions of the European
Court of Human Rights.
Annan Plan needs serious changes in the interests
of the U.S.
The "Annan Plan," submitted by UN
Secretary-General Kofi Annan in the fall of 2002 as the basis for a
settlement is regarded by Cyprus, Greece and the international
community as a basis for negotiations. As currently written the
Annan Plan is undemocratic and unworkable. It needs serious
modifications to make it democratic, workable, financially viable,
just and compatible with American values and the EU's acquis
communautaire and democratic norms, the European Convention on Human
Rights and key U.N. resolutions.
It is in the interests of the U.S. to press for
such changes for a settlement that will last and which could be a
useful model for other international problems including Iraq.
The Annan Plan is a more complicated version of
the 1959-1960 London-Zurich agreements imposed on the Greek Cypriots
by the British during the Cold War.
The British had the primary influence in drafting
the proposal, with U.S. acquiescence. The Annan Plan perpetuates the
undemocratic features and ethnic divisions of the London-Zurich
agreements. The Cold War is over yet the British continue their
policy of setting one ethnic group off against another.
The Annan Plan is harmful to U.S. efforts to build
democratic institutions in Iraq because it tries to rationalize a
system based on ethnic separatism with a weak central government.
The U.S. has rejected any such solution for Iraq.
The U.S. should in its own best interests be the
champion of democratic norms throughout the world, not obvious
undemocratic constitutions like the one proposed. The U.S. should
support changes in the Annan Plan to make it democratic, workable,
financially viable and just.
The Annan Plan would foster division and strife.
Secretary-General Annan himself should seek changes in the plan
because the interests of the UN are served only if the plan
is democratic and viable.
The proposal is undemocratic.
The parliamentary system under the Annan Plan
creates a minority veto for the 18% Turkish Cypriot minority. The
following key legislative matters among others would be subject to
the Turkish Cypriot veto:
1. Adoption of laws concerning taxation,
citizenship and immigration;
2. Approval of the budget; and
3. Election of the Presidential Council.
This arrangement is clearly undemocratic, a recipe
for stalemate and harmful to all Cypriots.
The minority veto is also present in the
Presidential Council which exercises the executive power of the
component state. Political paralysis in the exercise of executive
power will be the result.
The Annan Plan vetoes exceed the minority vetoes
of the London-Zurich 1959-1960 agreements, which vetoes led to the
breakdown of the Cyprus constitution.
Is the U.S. prepared to propose the Annan Plan’s
minority veto provisions for the 20% Kurdish minority of 15 plus
million in Turkey? Is Turkey prepared to give its Kurdish minority
rights it seeks for the Turkish Cypriots? What about the Arab
minority in Israel, Turks in Bulgaria, Albanians in FYROM, Greeks in
Albania and minorities in Africa, Asia and North and South America?
The U.S. position in support of the British
maneuvered Annan Plan is, frankly, an embarrassment to our foreign
policy. Rather than supporting undemocratic norms, the U.S. should
promote with vigor the democratic policy espoused for Cyprus by Vice
President George H.W. Bush on July 6, 1988: "We seek for Cyprus
a constitutional democracy based on majority rule, the rule of law,
and the protection of minority rights; " and by presidential
candidate Governor Bill Clinton in 1992: " A Cyprus settlement
should be consistent with the fundamental principles of human rights
and democratic norms and practices."
The proposal is unworkable.
It is useful to recall that the State
Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research called the
1959-1960 London-Zurich agreements dysfunctional. It predicted the
problem areas. The Annan Plan is even more complicated and creates
conditions for continuous squabbling, disagreements and deadlock.
A report by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of
Intelligence and Research on the London-Zurich agreements concluded
"[The Cyprus settlement] also endeavors to codify in detail the
position and rights of the two communities instead of relying on
constitutional custom as other countries have done in similar
situations. There are dangers inherent not only in the comparative
rigidity of the structure of the new state but also in the detailed
codification of community rights which will tend to perpetuate
rather than eliminate the communal cleavages." (BIR
Intelligence Report No. 8047, July 14, 1959 p.22). The same
criticism and danger applies to and is inherent in the Annan Plan.
The proposal subverts property rights
One of the most pernicious effects of the illegal
Turkish occupation of northern Cyprus is that the rightful owners of
real property there continue to be excluded from their property by
the Turkish military. The Annan Plan proposes a highly complicated,
ambiguous and uncertain regime for resolving property issues and is
based on the principle that real property owners can ultimately be
forced to give up their property rights which would violate the
European Convention on Human Rights and international law.
In 1996 the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR)
held in Loizidou v. Turkey that persons who held title under the
laws of the Republic of Cyprus to real property in occupied Cyprus
were the only rightful owners of that property and that Turkey was
responsible for those rightful owners being excluded from their real
property. Since that decision, the ECHR has issued three more
decisions upholding that decision and Turkey has paid a substantial
judgment in Loizidou.
The proposal fails to fully demilitarize Cyprus
There is no need for Turkish or Greek soldiers to
remain in Cyprus. The U.S. should insist on full demilitarization
The proposal does not provide for the return to
Turkey of the 100,000 illegal Turkish settlers in the occupied area.
Central to a proper solution is the return of the
100,000 illegal Turkish settlers to Turkey.
The proposed territorial adjustment is clearly
The two proposed maps—A 28.6% and B 28.5% reward
Turkey, the aggressor and penalize the Greek Cypriots, the victims.
The Turkish Cypriots comprise 18% of the population and have title
to about 14% of the land. A map proposal should provide for no more
than 18% under the Turkish Cypriots.
The proposed maps are contrary to the policy
enunciated by President George H.W. Bush and Soviet President
Mikhail Gorbachev in Helsinki on September 9, 1990 when they
condemned Iraq’s aggression against Kuwait and declared "that
aggression cannot and will not pay."
The U.S. should seek changes in the Annan Plan to
reflect U.S. values and interests
The Cold War has been over for more than a decade.
Turkey’s March 1, 2003 "no" vote against helping the
U.S. did occur and we should not forget it! And Turkey’s attempt
to extract more billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars, a veto on U.S.
Iraqi Kurdish policy and access to Iraqi oil also occurred! As one
senior administration official said, Turkey’s actions are
"extortion in the name of alliance."
The U.S. Special Coordinator for Cyprus,
Ambassador Tom Weston, should be seeking changes in the Annan Plan
to make it democratic, workable, financially viable and just. The
U.S. bears the major responsibility for Turkey’s aggression and
should now be willing to stand up and hold Turkey accountable for
its aggression by calling for:
Turkey’s armed forces and settlers to
leave Cyprus now;
Turkey to pay damages for all the
destruction and loss of life she caused;
Turkey to pay to all property owner’s
the losses they have suffered from Turkey’s occupation of
their property since 1974 as Turkey was forced by the
Council of Europe to pay Titina Loizidou under threat of
Turkey to pay for the costs of
resettlement of the Greek Cypriot refugees.
To achieve a settlement, the U.S. should apply
forceful economic, political, and diplomatic pressure on Turkey,
including sanctions if necessary, to get Turkey to remove its 35,000
armed forces and its 100,000 illegal colonists from Cyprus."
For additional information, please contact
Angeliki Vassiliou at (202) 785-8430 or at email@example.com
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