KT comment triggers debate

ABU DHABI - Turkey has expressed regret that the UN Secretary-General's proposal for a comprehensive settlement submitted to referenda on the two sides of the Island has been rejected by the Greek Cypriot side.

By (By a staff reporter)

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Published: Wed 28 Apr 2004, 9:48 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 2:01 AM

"The rejection by the Greek Cypriot side of the most comprehensive and serious settlement plan to date regarding the Cyprus issue, which was brought about by the efforts of the UN Secretary-General and the initiative taken by Turkey recently, has led to the loss of an important opportunity. This development has also clearly revealed the real source of opposition to a solution in Cyprus," Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul said in a statement.

The statement, sent to Khaleej Times on Tuesday, said the "Turkish side has always been in favour of a just and lasting solution in Cyprus. However, the results of the referenda demonstrated that the Greek Cypriot side was not ready for a new partnership and co-existence and reconciliation with Turkish Cypriots. At the same time, the Greek Cypriot policy of blaming the Turkish side and Turkey with intransigence through distortion of facts has also gone bankrupt."

It said the UN Secretary-General's proposal for a comprehensive settlement "was aimed at reaching a balanced compromise in Cyprus before 1 May 2004, and the full membership of the Island in the EU under a new partnership structure. The said proposal, based on the notion that the future of the Island would be co-determined by the Turkish and Greek Cypriots, had foreseen the establishment of a new bi-zonal partnership formed by the two. The UN Secretary-General's proposal stipulated that in case one of the sides voted `no', the plan would be null and void. Unfortunately, this is what we face today."

"These referenda, which were held for the first time in the Island following the UN negotiation process of almost 30 years, have created a new situation in Cyprus. The international community has to analyse and assess this situation accurately. We believe that the two peoples on the Island should draw necessary conclusions from this new situation and live side by side in peace and security."

"The results of the referenda have also created a highly paradoxical situation for the EU. On one hand, the EU is admitting as a member the party which has voted against a solution and the unification of the Island, while on the other leaving out in the open the party wishing to find a solution and unification of the Island."

"Under the circumstances, we expect the Greek Cypriot political leadership and the international community to remove the unjust and illegitimate embargoes and restrictions imposed on the Turkish Cypriot people. Through this referendum, the Turkish Cypriot people have demonstrated their desire to integrate with the world. No one has the right to further isolate Turkish Cypriots in the international arena. We expect the international community to respond favourably to this call. It is now high time for the international community to assure its obligations towards the Turkish Cypriot people, who live in a pluralistic democratic structure, respecting human rights."

"As a country contributing to enhancing security and stability in the region and in the world, Turkey has set for itself, as a strategic objective, full membership in the EU. In the same vein, Turkey will continue to spend efforts to further develop its relations with Greece. We hope that Greece will duly assess this new situation that has emerged in the Island and adopt a consistent and constructive attitude."

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