EXCERPTS FROM STATEMENTS AND DECISIONS/RESOLUTIONS
REFERENDA HELD IN CYPRUS ON 24 APRIL 2004
UN Secretary-General’s statement as read by his Special Advisor on Cyprus Mr. Alvaro de Soto, 24 April 2004:
“The goal of the effort over the last four and a half years has been to bring about reunification so as to enable a reunited Cyprus to join the European Union. That goal has not been achieved. A unique and historic chance to resolve the Cyprus problem has been missed.
The Secretary-General applauds the Turkish Cypriots, who approved the plan notwithstanding the significant sacrifices that it entailed for many of them. He regrets that the Turkish Cypriots will not equally enjoy the benefits of EU membership as of 1 May 2004, but he hopes that ways will be found to ease the plight in which the people find themselves through no fault of their own.
Together with a broad cross-section of the international community, the Secretary-General remains convinced that the settlement plan put to the two sides in today’s referenda represents a fair, viable and carefully balanced compromise -- one that conforms with the long-agreed parameters for a solution, and with the Security Council’s vision for a settlement and meets the minimum requirements of all concerned. ”
President of the European Parliament Pat COX’s statement, 24 April 2004:
“I deeply regret the outcome of the referendum among the Greek Cypriot community in Cyprus, rejecting the Annan Plan. The enlargement of the European Union on 1 May offers a dramatic change of context, and it is regrettable that the referendum did not produce a change of heart, despite the fact that the problem is not what it was thirty years ago. At the same time, I warmly welcome the strong endorsement of the Annan Plan by Turkish Cypriots.”
European Commission’s press release of 24 April 2004:
“The European Commission deeply regrets that the Greek Cypriot community did not approve the comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem. A unique opportunity to bring about a solution to the long-lasting Cyprus issue has been missed. The European Commission would like to warmly congratulate Turkish Cypriots for their "Yes" vote. This signals a clear desire of the community to resolve the island's problem. The Commission is ready to consider ways of further promoting economic development of the northern part of Cyprus.”
British Foreign Minister Jack Straw’s statement of 24 April 2004:
Straw said he was “saddened by the decision of a majority of Greek Cypriot voters to reject the settlement, despite the prospect it offered of reuniting the island, providing long-sought relief for the refugees of 1974, and progressively lifting the weight of militarization – all this within the framework of political stability and economic security which European Union membership provides”. Straw said he was “glad that the Turkish Cypriot community has voted so clearly for the settlement. The result shows what a fundamental change of attitude has taken place within the Turkish Cypriot community in recent years”.
Spokesman of the US State Department Richard Boucher’s Press Statement of 24 April 2004 :
“We are disappointed that a majority of Greek Cypriots voted against the settlement plan. Failure of the referenda in the Greek Cypriot community is a setback to the hopes of those on the island who voted for the settlement and to the international community.”
German Foreign Minister Fischer’s statement of 24 April 2004 (unofficial translation):
"The German Government regrets that a "yes" vote was only achieved in the northern part of the island in today's referenda in Cyprus. It is disappointing that the citizens in the south of the island did not seize the great opportunity for reunification which the Annan Plan offered. Unfortunately, a reunited Cyprus will not now be joining the European Union on 1 May."
EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana’s statement of 25 April 2004 (unofficial translation):
“Javier Solana said he deeply regretted that Greek Cypriots have missed the opportunity to solve the problem that has been with them for too many years. He also said that the Turkish Cypriots have made in contrast a courageous choice by voting “yes”.”
Council of Europe Secretary General Walter Schwimmer’s statement of 25 April 2004
Secretary General Walter Schwimmer has expressed his regret that the United Nations plan to reunite Cyprus did not receive the necessary support from voters in the south of the island. This is indeed a big disappointment' he said. 'As the Secretary General of a pan-European organisation I can only regret that a golden opportunity has been missed. The outcome of the referendum in the northern part of the island has at least achieved the ending of the moral isolation of the Turkish Cypriots. I am confident that the international community will now ensure that they will not suffer unduly from the rejection of the UN Plan, contrary to their wishes' Mr Schwimmer added.
French Foreign Ministry’s statement of 25 April 2004:
''France notes the results of the referenda in Cyprus which ended in the rejection of the Annan Plan for the island’s reunification by one of the parties. It regrets that this result will not allow the accession of a reunited Cyprus in the EU, something which France always favoured. Cyprus' accession to the EU, on May 1, will not assume its full significance until such time that the two communities are reconciled.''…“Within this context, France hopes that the Commission, in accordance with the conclusions of the Copenhagen European Council of December 2002, proposes that proper measures be taken to promote the economic development of the northern part of the island and bring it closer to the Union.”
Bangladesh Foreign Ministry’s Press Release of 25 April 2004:
“Bangladesh expresses its deep disappointment at the rejection of the UN Plan for the reunification of Cyprus, by one community in Cyprus…Bangladesh believes that those who voted for the UN plan in Cyprus should now be given the opportunity to restore immediately their economic and trade activities internationally without any restriction.”
US Secretary of State Powell’s statement of 26 April 2004:
“Obviously, we were very disappointed. We believe that an important opportunity, a historic opportunity was lost.”
Spokesman of the US State Department Richard Boucher’s encounter with the press on 26 April 2004:
“First I’d refer you to the remarks that Secretary (Powell) made outside…
We think that a Greek Cypriot vote against the settlement means that a unique and historic opportunity was lost. We believe the settlement was fair. It has been accepted by the Turkish Cypriot side. There will not be a better settlement. There is no other deal. There is no better deal available. And we hope that the Greek Cypriots will come to comprehend this in due time.
We have nothing but praise for the courageous Turkish Cypriots who voted for this settlement.... There's not a new negotiation plan, there's not a renegotiation plan. This is the deal...
We do think that there was a lot of manipulation by the Greek Cypriot leaders in the run-up to the election; that the outcome was regrettable but not surprising, given those actions. I think the Europeans as well have made clear -- statements by External Relations Commissioner Chris Patten, European Parliamentary President Pat Cox, Enlargement Commissioner Verheugen -- that they have strong concerns in that regard as well.
Question: Do you stick to your intention not to leave them (Turkish Cypriot people) out in the cold?
MR. BOUCHER: Yes.
Question: What was the manipulation that you alluded to?
MR. BOUCHER: There were restrictions on the press, decision by the Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation's board of directors that limited full coverage of foreigners' statements on the U.N. settlement and on Saturday's referendum. A statistical study of pre-referendum media environment indicates anti-settlement advocates, including the president himself, received almost twice as much airtime as pro- settlement advocates. I think we noted that even the European commissioner, the enlargement commissioner was not allowed on the air; struck us as particularly odd.
There were also a lot of reports that the Ministry of Education dismissed children from school early on the 21st and 27th -- and 22nd so that they could go to anti-settlement events. Teachers were instructed to encourage their students to vote no. And students were provided with no banners and t-shirts by their teachers. Some were even bussed to specific locations.
So, given those kind of purposeful policies, we're not surprised that numerous reports of physical intimidation and threats were made by Greek Cypriots campaigning for a no vote, especially a death threat directed at an 18-year-old schoolboy who favoured the settlement. We especially regret that not one Greek Cypriot official spoke out at the time against numerous shameful incidents that took place before the referenda.
Danish Foreign Minister Stieg’s press statement of 26 April 2004:
“This opportunity should have been used by the Turkish and the Greek. Still, it's a divided island, and we had hoped the division would have stopped. And we have supported the United Nations plan. We have supported Kofi Annan. We have worked upon it.”
UN Secretary-General Annan’s Press Encounter with CNN, 26 April 2004:
“Question: Will the UN play any future role?
Secretary-General: …obviously we are all very disappointed that the reunification efforts did not succeed… I know that we, at the UN, are not the only disappointed group. The EU and other states and Washington – we are all disappointed, and I think many people in the region, because unification had lots to offer to all the Cypriots and the people of the region.
Question: But the UN’s work is done for now?
Secretary-General: For now, we are done.”
Statement by the Czech Foreign Ministry, 24 April 2004:
“…the inhabitants of Cyprus have expressed in referendums their opinion on the plan of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan for the unification of the island. The plan has been refused by a large majority of the Greek population of Cyprus.
…the Czech MFA regards the refusal of the Annan plan as a squandered chance, a chance that may not come again in the near future and considers the Annan plan to be an optimum basis for the unification of Cyprus. The plan was coming forward to both parties and in cooperation with the UN Security Council and the EU provided to all participants sufficient guarantees of a peaceful development of the island.
On 1st May 2004, Cyprus will become EU member. The Turkish inhabitants of Cyprus have expressed in the referendum their will for the unification of Cyprus. They should not become hostages of the situation they will face after 1st May resulting from the refusal of the Annan plan in the south part of the island. The Czech MFA believes that the EU and the international community will find a way to help the north part of Cyprus to overcome economic and social consequences of the decades of international isolation.
…The Czech Republic also calls on the Republic of Cyprus and its current representatives to demonstrate the will to achieve a compromise, which is necessary for a peaceful unification of the island."
Swedish Prime Minister Persson’s statement of 24 April 2004:
“We regret the fact that a re-united Cyprus can not be EU member on 1st of May. Both peoples of the island have a certain place in the Union.
We appreciate the initiative of Prime Minister Erdoğan and of the Turkish Government in order to re-unite Cyprus. Now, the EU must evaluate how it can contribute and facilitate the trade in the island and the border crossings between the two parts. On the other hand, we must reconsider the modalities of the economic support for the harmonization of the North with the EU” (unofficial translation)
Austrian Foreign Minister Ferrero-Waldner’s press statement of 24 April 2004:
“The Austrian Foreign Minister Benita Ferrero-Waldner expressed her regret at the negative outcome of the referendum on the Greek side of Cyprus.
The fact that the referendum resulted in a positive vote on the Turkish side of Cyprus should be appropriately honored by the international community," Ferrero-Waldner stated.”
EU Enlargement Commissioner Verheugen’s statement to Germany’s ARD television, 25 April 2004:
“A unique opportunity to bring about a solution to the long-lasting Cyprus issue has been missed…There is a shadow now over the accession of Cyprus.
…What we will seriously consider now is finding a way to end the economic isolation of the Turkish Cypriots.”
State Secretary (responsible for EU affairs) of Netherlands Mr. Nicolai’s press statement of 26 April 2004:
"Nicolaï said furthermore that the EU is to deliberate on the question of „how we are now to deal with Southern Cyprus“. „We cannot pretend as if nothing happened“, stated the VVD Government leader. According to him also the Greek authorities are to blame as a result of the one-sided portrayal of matters, as a result of which those in favor of a reunion did not stand much of a chance in the referendum of Saturday.”
EU Enlargement Commissioner Verheugen’s press statement of 26 April 2004: (unofficial translation)
“The European Commission deeply regrets the negative outcome of the referendum among the Greek Cypriot community. A unique opportunity has been missed. The Commission warmly congratulates the Turkish Cypriots for their "Yes" vote…The Annan Plan is null and void now.
Turkish Cypriots must not be punished because of this result. The Regulation to be issued by the Commission will serve this aim.
About trade, I must say that there have never been embargoes against Northern Cyprus. Nevertheless, now we have to end the isolation of the North. The Commission is ready to take various measures for that aim.
Turkish Cypriots have showed a positive will. Therefore, they must not be punished if they are ready to cooperate with us.
We believe that indeed a unique opportunity has been missed. A divided Island is going to be EU member.
The Green Line has become de facto external border of the EU.”
Belgian Foreign Minister Michel’s press statement of 26 April 2004: (unofficial translation)
“ …There is no reason to punish the Turkish Cypriots who have voted yes for the EU. The Greek Cypriots that have supported the re-unification have voted against it this time.”
European Council of Foreign Ministers Conclusion Statement of 26 April 2004:
“The Turkish Cypriot community have expressed their clear desire for a future within the EU. The Council is determined to put an end to the isolation of the Turkish Cypriot Community and to facilitate the reunification of Cyprus by encouraging the economic development of the Turkish Cypriot community. The Council invited the Commission to bring forward comprehensive proposals to this end, with particular emphasis on the economic integration of the island. The Council recommended that the 259 million euro already earmarked for the northern part of Cyprus in the event of a settlement now be used for this purpose.”
The statement of Geoffrey Van Orden, MEP, Conservative Spokesman on Defence and Security Policy and Human Rights in the European Parliament, 27 April 2004:
“I was hugely disappointed by the 'no' vote in the Republic in Saturday's referendum, and felt greatly let down by the unhelpful approach of the Government and other political parties in the south.
Given Turkish Cypriots overwhelming support for the UN plan, it is essential that the European Union recognizes their endorsement by building a strong relationship with northern Cyprus. With this in mind, I welcome the Commission's proposals for a financial aid package to the north, for easing travel restrictions at the 'Green Line' and for the opening of a Commission office in northern Cyprus.
We must also ensure, however, that all vestiges of the unfair embargo are rapidly removed and it is high time that holidaymakers from EU Member States were allowed to fly directly to Ercan this summer."
EU Enlargement Commissioner Verheugen’s press statement of 27 April 2004:
“EU Enlargement Commissioner Günter Verheugen has called for opening of a European Commission office in the Turkish part of Cyprus to monitor the flow of community funds for the development of the northern part the island.”
UN Under-Secretary General Prendergast’s briefing to the UN Security Council on 28 April 2004:
“On 7 April, Mr. Tassos Papadopoulos, the Greek Cypriot leader, in an address to the nation, called on Greek Cypriots to reject the Secretary-General’s plan – indeed, to “send a resounding no” to the Annan Plan.
Now is not the time to go into details about what information was or was not made available to the people during the referendum campaigns, or to elaborate on unfounded concerns generated about job security for public servants in the proposed new structures, or to comment on the issue of access to the media by international figures from the United Nations and the European Union who were ready to explain the plan and the commitments of the international community. However, concerns on these points were directly raised by Mr. De Soto with Mr. Papadopoulos. Members of the Council will be aware that they have also been raised in other fora.
…Since the plan required approval by each side in the referenda, the Foundation Agreement will not enter into force.
…It means that the objective of the Secretary-General’s efforts over the past four and a half years, namely to reunite Cyprus in time for accession to the EU on 1 May 2004, has not been achieved.
The Secretary General remains convinced that the plan submitted represents a fair, viable and carefully balanced compromise - one that meets the minimum requirements of all concerned. The Plan conforms with the long-agreed parameters for a solution and with the Security Council’s vision for a settlement. The Council will recall that, in resolution 1475, the Council gave its full support the Secretary-General’s “carefully balanced plan” as a “unique basis for further negotiations”.
…Contrary to claims made during the campaign, changes were made to meet, to the extent possible, core concerns of both sides, and these changes were within the parameters of the plan.
…In light of the above, the result of the referendum by the Greek Cypriot electorate, one which had been strongly encouraged by Mr. Papadopoulos, raises serious questions.
The Secretary General applauds the Turkish Cypriots, who approved the plan notwithstanding the significant sacrifices that it entailed for many of them.
…The Secretary General regrets that the Turkish Cypriots will not equally enjoy the benefits of the EU membership as of 1 May 2004. He hopes that ways will be found to ease the plight in which the people find themselves through no fault of their own.”
UK Deputy Foreign Minister Baroness Symons’s statement at the House of Lords on 28 April 2004:
“The House will know that the referenda in the Turkish Cypriot community was carried by a large majority, but that - in the Greek Cypriot community the settlement proposals were opposed by a large majority. Accordingly the Annan Plan which was designed to be self-executing in time for a re-united island to enter the EU on 1 May is null and void…
Over the last few years, Kofi Annan and his team have built on earlier efforts and worked tirelessly to bring about a comprehensive settlement package that meets the key interests of the two sides, and provides a solid foundation for a durable bi-communal, bi-zonal federal solution.
By this decision a majority of Greek Cypriot voters has rejected the settlement, despite the prospect it offered of reuniting the island, providing long-sought relief for the refugees of 1974 and progressively lifting the weight of militarization-all this within the framework of political stability and economic security which European Union membership provides.
I am glad that the Turkish Cypriot community has voted so clearly for the settlement. The result shows what a fundamental change of attitude has taken place within the Turkish Cypriot community in recent years.”
UN Secretary General’s statement of 28 April 2004:
“The vote by the Greek Cypriots to reject my proposals last Saturday was of course a great disappointment…I salute the Turkish Cypriots for their courageous vote in favour of the proposals. We must all do our best to see that they are not penalized for the way the vote went in the other part of the island.”
Security Council Statement on Cyprus 28 April:
“ The Security Council shares the UN Secretary General’s disappointment that efforts since 1999 to reunify the island have not succeeded and regrets that an extraordinary historic opportunity to resolve the Cyprus issue has been missed.”
Statement made on behalf of the United States by the Alternate US Representative to UN Ambassador Stuart Holliday, on the situation on Cyprus, at the Security Council stakeout, 29 April 2004:
“We’d like to reiterate our strong support for the Secretary General and his statement.
We join the Secretary General in regretting the outcome of the Greek Cypriot referendum on April 24, the fact that… the benefits of a settlement will not be realized, and the fact that a unique and historic opportunity has been missed.
The Secretary General’s plan is a fair, viable, and carefully balanced compromise that conforms with the long-agreed to parameters of a settlement and with the Security Council’s vision for a settlement.”
European Union Parliamentary Assembly Resolution no. 1376 (2004):
“The Parliamentary Assembly is profoundly disappointed by the failure, following the massive "no" vote by the Greek Cypriot community, of the international community's efforts to end the division of Cyprus and enable the two Cypriot communities to together join the European Union on 1 May 2004.
The Assembly pays tribute to Mr Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations, and his colleagues, who have made a tremendous contribution towards achieving a settlement of the Cyprus problem.
The Assembly pays tribute to the Turkish Cypriots, who supported the Annan Plan by an overwhelming majority, thus opting for a future in Europe. The international community, and in particular the Council of Europe and the European Union, cannot ignore or betray the expressed desire of a majority of Turkish Cypriots for greater openness and should take rapid and appropriate steps to encourage it. The Turkish Cypriots' international isolation must cease.
The Assembly therefore welcomes the support expressed by several European political leaders for financial assistance for the Turkish Cypriots and an easing of the international sanctions against them. The United Nations should also consider whether the resolutions on which the sanctions are based are still justified. The Assembly considers it unfair for the Turkish Cypriot community, which has expressed clear support for a reunited and European Cyprus, to continue to be denied representation in the European political debate. Such continued isolation may help strengthen the positions of those who are opposing a unified Cyprus.
President of the Council of Europe, Committee of Ministers and the Foreign Minister of Netherlands Mr. Bot’s statement of 28 April 2004 (at the European Council Parliamentary Assembly meeting)
“We will now need to look for ways and means to make sure that the Turkish Cypriots do not remain isolated and avoid that they suffer unduly from the rejection of the UN Plan which they supported by a large majority.”
Speech of Chancellor Schröder delivered at the opening ceremony of the Turkish-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Cologne, 27 April 2004 (unofficial translation)
“…One of the major problems in the immediate vicinity of the European Union was the Cyprus issue until today.
Ladies and Gentlemen, for a long time, it was alleged that the reunification of the Island and the adhesion of a reunited Island to the EU would end in failure mostly because of Turkey. However, nowadays we need to examine the results recently obtained. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has prepared a very reasonable plan which would enable the adhesion of a reunited Cyprus to the EU. Many believed that this would fall apart due to Turkey.
Few people thought and wrote that this could fail because of others. Prime Minister Erdoğan had said that they would take the necessary steps to prevent its failure because of them. I know this first hand through our discussion with Prime Minister Erdoğan during my recent visit to Turkey.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the results are very clear. The desired reunification of the country and the adhesion of a reunited Cyprus to the EU have failed because of the Greek Cypriots. We are all sorry for this situation. This also means that we have to appreciate the policy pursued by Turkey.”
Press statement of Monica Frassoni, member of the European Parliament and the Co-President of the Greens Group (Belgium),Strasbourg, 4 May 2004:
“…It's not enough to give Northern Cyprus some charitable contribution…We must show how effective the enlarged EU can be. Turkish Cypriots must be rewarded for their clear will to invest in peace; their international isolation must be ended. EU member states should take the lead at the UN Security Council to lift the embargoes and establish regular transport communications with Northern Cyprus as well as trade and economic relations.“
Letter sent by member of the European parliament (UK) Van Order to British Foreign Minister Jack Straw, Foreing Minister of Ireland Cowen and EU Commissioner for Enlargement Verhaugen, 4 May 2004:
“…The UN plan received overwhelming support in Northern Cyprus, but through the actions of others, the Turkish Cypriots are now left in a state of limbo beyond their control. The Announcement by the Council and Commission of an initial package of measures for the North will help to alleviate this situation.
One particular measure that has not so far been included but which would have enormous economic impact would be the opening of Ercan airport to international traffic.
…The political situation has now changed dramatically and positive action is now both more widely acceptable and even more necessary…”
US State Department Richard Boucher’s Press Conference of 5 May 2004:
“QUESTION: Do you agree with the President of Cyprus, who said that the Annan plan is on the table if Secretary General Kofi Annan makes some changes?
MR. BOUCHER: I think the Secretary General, the United States and others made clear it's not a matter of renegotiation; there's no plan to go back to the table; there's no plan to renegotiate things that weren't raised in Switzerland or that were negotiated in Switzerland. This is the deal. We've said so before. We'll say so again. We stand by what we've said.”
Spokesman of the US State Department Richard Boucher’s Press Conference of 6 May 2004:
“QUESTION: …Secretary Powell, in New York City, called Mehmet Ali Talat as “Prime Minister.” Of What?
MR. BOUCHER: …There is no change in US recognition policy one way or the other….
QUESTION: So it was stated by mistake then? Correct?
MR:BOUCHER: No. It was a descriptive term”.
Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) Mr. Belkeziz’s opening statement to the OIC Senior Officials Meeting, Jeddah, 9-12 May 2004:
“We express our deep regret for the result of the UN referendum regarding the Cypriot issue. This prompted us to register the positive stand taken by the Turkish Cypriots who responded the UN initiative. By doing so, they have taken position in favor of international legitimacy, which will allow the Turkish side in Cyprus more political openness on the world and further international sympathy. It is our duty to put an end to the isolation of Turkish Cypriots.”
Statement of British Deputy Foreign Minister MacShane, House of Commons, 17 May 2004
“…We believe the UN Secretary-General's comprehensive plan established the best possible basis for achieving a settlement. We welcomed the fact that the settlement would have seen a reduction in Greek and Turkish troop numbers to a purely symbolic level. It is now time for reflection on the deal that was rejected and a considered examination of where we go from here. We look forward to the UN Secretary General's report on the settlement talks as an important first step in that process. In the meantime there is no prospect of a renegotiation of the UNSG's plan, including the provision for a limited number of Greek and Turkish troops to remain. Any change in this would have to be by mutual agreement of the parties concerned.
…The UN Secretary-General's comprehensive settlement proposals would have enabled a large number of Greek and Turkish Cypriots the right to return to their former homes. Furthermore, every dispossessed owner was entitled to a guaranteed proportion of all their former property under a regime designed to deliver material benefits to all…We continue to believe that the UNSG's plan offers the best possible basis.”
Press statement of the British Prime Minister Tony Blair during his visit to Turkey, 17-18 May 2004:
“We must now act to end the isolation of northern Cyprus…It means lifting sanctions on trade and travel. It also means ensuring that EU funds currently available for dispersal are actually dispersed.”
Statement of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belgium Louis Michel, at the Belgium Senate, 13 May 2004:
“During the last meeting of EU-Council of General Affairs and External Relations which also Belgium participated, the Greek Cypriot officials were subject to serious criticism by the other European Ministers of Foreign Affairs. In fact, the result of the referendum is due to the decision for voting “no” taken by the leaders of that country.” (Unofficial translation)
Report of the Secretary-General of the OIC on the situation in Cyprus (ICFM/31-2004 /POL/SG.REP.2)
“Many international bodies also urged the Turkish and Greek Cypriots to vote for the plan to reunite the Island. Contrary to that, leading Greek Cypriot leaders urged their citizens to reject the plan. That call triggered the displeasure of international public opinion.
The Organization of the Islamic Conference expressed its rejection over the outcome of the referendum which had lost a unique opportunity to solve the Cyprus question. It also commended the Turkish Cypriots for their courage and vote for peace and reconciliation on the Island.
In the light of the results of the referendum, the Cyprus issue has began to take a new dimension. The Turkish Cypriots who expressed their willingness for a unification solution and to live in peace with the Greek Cypriots were denied accession to the European Union, whereas the Greek-Cypriot side which rejected unification was allowed to join the European group. Thus, with the end of the UN plan for peaceful settlement, the international community, in general, and the Muslim countries, in particular, are requested to work earnestly to address the situation of the Turkish Cypriots, by supporting them materially and politically, helping their just causes and enabling them to meet their aspirations to live in peace, comfort and dignity like every other people of the world.”
Deputy Foreign Minister of UK Baroness Symons’s answer to a question in the House of Lords, 26 May 2004:
“…The UK Government believes steps should be taken as quickly as possible to end the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots…We are considering these issues and see significant benefits in direct links between the northern part of Cyprus and other parts of the EU if this can be done in a safe and effective way, respecting the legitimate concerns and interests of all involved…”
Speech of UK former Special Representative for Cyprus Lord Hannay, House of Lords, 26 May 2004:
" In the south the administration of Tassos Papadopoulos, backed by Christofias, the
leader of the communist party, took up the rejectionist baton and in so doing they ensured that the 9 per cent of territory on offer was not returned to the administration;
that the tens of thousands of Greek Cypriots who would have returned to their property would not be able to do so; that Turkey's troop presence would not be reduced; and that there would be no cap on the number of Turkish mainland citizens
who could come to the north and get Turkish Cypriot citizenship...
To have brought more than 30 years of negotiations with two parties, which no one would describe as easygoing, to the point where what was generally considered outside Cyprus as a fair and equitable set of compromise solutions on the table was a major achievement in itself.
Was the rejection by the Greek Cypriots in any way justified? I do not believe so. No one who has read Papadopoulos's appeal for a "no" vote, which was a root and branch assault on the fundamental aspects of the Annan plan, not just a criticism of its latest iteration, can seriously believe that he had been negotiating in good faith for a settlement up to that moment. Nor did his behavior at the last round of negotiations in Switzerland, when he refused to prioritize his list of desired changes and declined the smallest symbolic gestures of reconciliation to his Turkish Cypriot compatriots or to the Turkish Government, support that view…
What should happen now? In my view, it is important that the Greek Cypriots be left in no doubt of the real anger and disappointment throughout the international community at their decision. The Greek Cypriots have chosen to reject the views of the UN and of their new partners in the European Union. They can expect no support for their case and should get none…
The Turkish Cypriots can reasonably ask that they should not be the victims of this setback; and yet it is they who are left in limbo outside the European Union. But what is now needed, surely, is to remove all discrimination against people who are, after all, citizens of the European Union and to prepare the Turkish Cypriots and their legislation and administrative practices for eventual European membership…”
Speech of UK Minister for European Affairs MacShane, House of Commons, 26 May 2004:
“Much of the finalized document is the result of the work of Cypriots themselves...
… I repeat that I firmly believe that the plan provides a fair, just and lasting basis on which to reunite. There is no plan B or C...
I believe that it was a great shame that the Greek Cypriots voted no, and that it was a mistake to reject the Annan plan. That offered the best possible compromise, and a basis on which a united Cyprus republic could have functioned effectively in the EU.
The Annan plan had clear advantages. Half of all Greek Cypriot refugees would have returned to their former homes, under Greek Cypriot administration. A property restitution scheme would have given dispossessed owners a much improved system for getting back a share of their property, and compensation for the remainder.
In addition, the plan contained strong and effective protections against migration from Turkey upsetting the ethnic balance of the island. Also, the amount of Greek Cypriot territory would have increased from 64 per cent to 72 per cent of a unified state, and the UN had agreed to oversee the transfer of territory to ensure that that happened according to the timetable. At the end of the process, the number of Turkish troops on the island would have been reduced to just 650 soldiers. Finally, almost all the federal laws of a new United Cyprus Republic, including the excellent economic arrangements to ensure financial viability, were drafted by Greek Cypriots…
Cyprus has changed. It would be wrong simply to return to the status quo prior to the referendums. We strongly believe that the Turkish Cypriots, who voted for a peaceful resolution of the Cyprus problem, should not be penalized because the Greek Cypriots rejected the UN settlement plans. Turkish Cypriots demonstrated their desire to be in the EU, as part of a united island.”
US State Department Spokesman Richard Boucher’s Press Conference of 1 June 2004:
“We have certainly been looking at steps to ease the isolation of the Turkish Cypriot side. Our ambassador in Cyprus last week announced a step with regard to extending the validity of visas for Turkish Cypriots that makes it easier for them to travel, particularly for the students who might come to the United States. So that's one thing that we've announced already. We'll be looking at other steps that we can take and making those known at the appropriate time.”
Speech of the Member of the European Commission Janez Potocnik, Brussels, 28 May 2004:
“…The Annan Plan put forward by the UN, with the support of the EU, was rejected in the referendum held in the southern part of the island, while the Turkish Cypriots voted in favour of the plan. The Commission highly deplores that a chance to reunify the island has been missed. In line with the recommendations of the General Affairs and External Relations Council, the Commission is currently preparing a set of measures to put an end to the economic isolation of the Turkish Cypriots…”
Press Statement made by the Alternate US Representative to UN Ambassador Stuart Holliday, at the Security Council stakeout , 8 June 2004:
“We regret the Greek Cypriot decision not to vote in favor of the plan… We think that to go forward, that if the Greek Cypriots remain committed to a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation that this should be demonstrated. We would think that the best way to do that would be to support the elimination of some barriers that the Turkish Cypriots face, particularly in the area of economic development. We, of course, neither recognize nor have the Turkish Cypriots requested recognition, but we think that by the easing of some of the hardships the Turkish Cypriots face, that we could build toward a more positive and hopeful future.
…If you look at the economic disparity between the two sides, it would be in the interest of the entire island that the standard of living and the economic prospects for the Turkish Cypriots be elevated.”
Statement of the President of the Council of Europe Mr. Schwimmer, 9 June 2004 Strasburg:
“On 28 May 2004 the Secretary General of the United Nations presented his report on his mission of good offices in Cyprus to the UN Security Council.
In this report the expressed the hopes that “the members of the Council can give a strong lead to all States to co-operate both bilaterally and in international bodies, to eliminate unnecessary restrictions and barriers that have the effect of isolating the Turkish Cypriots and impeding their development – not for the purpose of affording recognition or assisting secession, but also a positive contribution to the goal of reunification.
In its Resolution 1376 (2004), the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary has already expressed the need for greater openness and an end to Turkish Cypriots’ international isolation.
In this spirit, I would inform you that I have agreed to the traineeship for a Turkish Cypriot within the Secretariat, and to a meeting with Mr. Talat, as representative of the Turkish Cypriot community, on Friday 11 June 2004.
Following consultations with delegations I will make further proposals to you shortly.”
Speech of UK Minister for European Affairs MacShane, House of Commons, 7 June 2004:
“ The clear majority vote by the Turkish Cypriot community at the referendum on 24 April to accept the UN Secretary General’s plan for a settlement of the Cyprus problem has not gone unnoticed. The European Union and the wider international community have acknowledged that the situation on Cyprus has changed – there can be no return to the previous status quo… The Government of UK believes steps should be taken as quickly as possible to end the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots.”
US State Department Spokesman Richard Boucher’s Press Conference of 17 June 2004:
“ We thought it was a good report (UNSG’s report dated 28 May 2004). We thought the Secretary-General’s efforts were very good this spring. And we think it’s a very good report to the Security Council… I think the visa extension was announced at the end of May by our ambassador in Cyprus. And we have discussed the other permission for people to travel in and out using tourist passports as well. These are steps that we have said we would take, steps to ease the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots. And these steps certainly ease their isolation.
Q: Do you hear that those steps are easing the isolation, or moving to the conflict?
MR. BOUCHER: Why would travel create conflict? Travel, we think, eases people's isolation and makes it easier for them to interact with the world and particularly with Europe, and they can continue to pursue their goals of being part of Europe…Well, now this is another way they can travel. So there's more freedom to travel and more opportunity to travel. That's good.”
US State Department Spokesman Richard Boucher’s Press Conference of 8 July 2004:
“Q: On Cyprus, as you know, the EU Commission has approved a financial aid plan, an aid package, and they will also be able to do trade with third parties. And when can they expect -- (chuckles) -- such steps from your side, as promised?
MR. BOUCHER: Let me say first we welcome the EU's steps. We look forward to the measures being implemented, particularly with regard to direct trade from the North because that can help support the eventual reunification of the island. We have been coordinating with the European Union, and we continue our review of a full range of policies and programs consistent with what the EU is doing and in cooperation and coordination with them.”
Explanation of Vote of the USA (after the Security Council Resolution 1568, UNFICYP), 22 October 2004
“… We continue to support the report’s assessment that Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots have done everything possible to reach a Cyprus settlement… We reaffirm our support for the Secretary General’s recommendation in paragraph 93 of the Good Offices Mission report that, not for the purpose of affording recognition or assisting secession, the Security Council should encourage all states to cooperate both bilaterally and in international bodies to eliminate unnecessary restrictions and barriers that have the effect of isolating Turkish Cypriots and impeding their development. We concur with the Secretary General’s assessment that such a move would be consistent with Security Council resolution 541 and 550. We regret that to date the Council has not endorsed the Secretary General’s report on his Mission of Good Offices in Cyprus and look forward to Security Council action in this regard.”