Special Cyrus Coordinator

There were however divided opinions about the role of Turkey in the situation with an arms embargo against Turkey which lasted until 1978. This it was believed would put pressure upon the Turks to withdraw their troops. Under President Reagan a special Cyrus Coordinator was in post and with the coming of Bill Clinton there was for a time a Presidential Envoy to the island. This policy however was not continued by George Bush, although in 2001 Colin Powell, the Secretary of State, said that the American administration “fully supports the ongoing U. N. efforts. ” and in particular they championed Kofi Annan’s plan for reconciliation.

Thomas Weston was the Special Cyprus Coordinator at that time and he quite openly supported the Turkish position according to Migdalovitz ( page 15). This he believed would increase the chances of a positive decision being reached. The United States pledged $400 million over 4 years, with a quarter of this being made available for immediate needs if the Annan plan were accepted by the islanders There was a referendum, but according to this report the Greek Cypriot leadership were accused of manipulating the news available to the public in order to bring about a no vote.

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Weston said that if the Turkish Cypriot community were able to progress towards economic parity with the Greek Cypriots, then some concerns of the majority population about the cost of a positive outcome. To this end in February 2005, representatives of 12 United States companies together with the commercial attache of the U. S.

Embassy in Ankara met with Turkish Cypriot counterparts in order to give advice regarding raising finance, including finding new markets, and building partnerships with overseas investors, but the official Cypriot government had not at that point designated any northern ports or airports as legal ports of entry and so , because the group had landed at Ercan airport and so the group were accused of breaking Cypriot law and also falling foul of United Nations resolutions. The American ambassador stated that: ‘We are prepared to assist settlement efforts, but proposals on next steps must come from Nicosia, not foreign capitals.

’ In March 2004 the BBC reported that ‘UN plan troubles Greek Cypriots The plan in question was a rehash of an earlier proposal. Under the new plan, complicated enough to require 9,000 pages, and presented to negotiators in Lucerne, fewer Greek Cypriot citizens than before would be allowed to return to their former homes, 18% of the Turkish population number rather than the original percentage of 21. This was countered by a reduction in the area to be administered by the Turkish leadership from 36 to 29% of the island.

These seem relatively minor changes, but for those concerned would make huge differences to their individual futures. There would be some restrictions regarding Greek property rights in the north, until the economies of the two sides were balanced. Were these changes really necessary? Turkish Cypriots, although fewer in number, would have an equal number of parliamentary seats with Greek Cypriot representatives. Although it is possible to see the reasoning behind such decisions so that the Turkish area gets a fair say, they are after all far fewer in number than their ethnically Greek countrymen.

Also Turkey was to be allowed to maintain its military forces in the north for an indefinite period. Previous plans had stated that the Turkish military would make a phased withdrawal, after which Turkey would join the European Union. Under the revised timeframe 6,000 troops would remain on each side until 2001, then this number would be halved to 3,000 on each side until 2018, and after that date figures would revert to a nominal 950 Greek and 650 Turkish as agreed as long ago as the 1960 pact. The report quotes a Greek Cypriot spokesman, Kypros Chrysostomides as saying :-

‘It was clear that on some points our side was satisfied and on others it was not satisfied. All of us must keep calm and remain sober. It seems it was well said when Abraham Lincoln said in former times, ‘You can’t please all of the people all of the time. ’ Another person was even less satisfied when he spoke of Mr. Annan, though the article does not make absolutely sure from which side of the divide he came, nor whether he is speaking figuratively or literally :- He gave us a sandwich and a cup of coffee. He gave them a five-course meal with champagne.