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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Solution to Cyprus dispute is no ‘mistake’

- - Tuesday, April 15, 2014

In blasting the U.N. peace initiative undertaken by former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan by claiming that "everybody recognizes now that it was a mistake," Greek Cypriot negotiator Andreas Mavroyiannis shows he is out of touch with the views of Washington, Brussels and Turtle Bay ("Negotiator says U.S. was wrong to back U.N. plan for Cyprus in 2004," Web, April 8). All of these entities envision a peace deal similar to what was put forward 10 years ago by Mr. Annan.

Mr. Mavroyiannis effectively challenges the views of his own leader, Nicos Anastasiades, who has never repudiated his support for the Annan plan. Mr. Mavroyiannis is also wrong to insinuate that the international community desires continued procrastination in the latest round of U.N.-sponsored negotiations.

For example, when U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Eric Rubin visited the island recently and met with Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders, he told reporters afterward that "there is a need for rapid progress now."

I am sorry that Mr. Mavroyiannis had to leave his home in 1974, but by that time, tens of thousands of Turkish Cypriots had already been made refugees as a result of systematic Greek Cypriot persecution.

Turkish Cypriots are hopeful that a lasting agreement will take place for the benefit of future generations of both communities and other peoples in the region who stand to benefit from the peaceful extraction of the eastern Mediterranean's abundant natural resources.

A solution to the 50-year-old dispute will also shore up NATO's southern flank and strengthen security in the Levant.

AHMET ERDENGIZ

Representative of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus

Washington