- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 22, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

I would like to address certain points made by The Washington Times or attributed to me in your July 17 article that need to be corrected and brought to the attention of your readers (“Cyprus envoy blames division on Turkey,” World, Friday).

The article refers in numerous places to a “Greek-Cypriot government.” As The Washington Times is aware, there is only one state on the island of Cyprus — the Republic of Cyprus — and there is only one internationally recognized government, namely the government of the Republic of Cyprus. Consequently, the reference to a Greek-Cypriot government is a fundamental error.

Similarly, the article makes reference to the so-called “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC)” and “government.” This gives the mistaken impression that there are two states and two internationally recognized governments on the island of Cyprus, when in fact there is only one state and one internationally recognized government, as previously described.

What The Times refers to as the TRNC is an illegal entity established through a secessionist act, which was condemned by the international community. U.N. Security Council Resolutions 541 (1983) and 550 (1984) call “upon all states not to recognize the purported state of the ‘Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus’ ” and “not to facilitate or in any way assist the aforesaid secessionist entity.”

To date, the only country to violate these Security Council resolutions by recognizing this illegal entity has been Turkey. Moreover, Turkey is the only country that does not recognize the Republic of Cyprus.

As I emphasized during my interview with The Washington Times, the president of the Republic of Cyprus, Demetris Christofias, and the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community, Mehmet Ali Talat, have been engaged in full-fledged direct negotiations under the auspices of the United Nations since September 2008.

The framework for a solution is the establishment of a bizonal, bicommunal federation with a single international personality, a single sovereignty and a single citizenship and with political equality as described in the U.N. Security Council resolutions.

However, a solution cannot be reached without Turkey’s full and constructive cooperation in both the process and the solution. It is essential for Turkey to exhibit the necessary political will that would enable the negotiations to move forward and at the same time finally realize that a solution to the Cyprus problem must come from the Cypriots themselves and must serve first and foremost the interests of the Cypriots — Greek, Turkish, Maronite, Armenian and Latin alike.

The article correctly mentions that Cyprus is a member of the European Union (EU). However, it does not mention that the overwhelming majority of the Turkish Cypriots living in the Turkish-occupied area have applied for and received Republic of Cyprus passports and/or ID cards, which allow them to travel, work, study and reside in any European country.

This benefit is courtesy of their Republic of Cyprus citizenship and not the Turkish occupation or the so-called TRNC. Any inability by the Turkish Cypriots to fully enjoy all the benefits and opportunities of the EU is because of the continuing division of the island through the Turkish military occupation.

In view of the current negotiation process, whose beneficiaries should be the Cypriots, it is in all of our interests to achieve a just, viable and functional solution to the Cyprus problem. We need a solution that ends the partition and colonization and reunites the island, its people, its economy and its institutions, without the presence of the occupation forces and where human rights and fundamental freedoms are safeguarded for all Cypriots. Such a solution will serve the interests of all the Cypriots, and it will contribute to peace and stability in the region as a whole. This is also in the best interest of the United States.

ANDREAS S. KAKOURIS

Ambassador of the Republic of Cyprus to the United States

Embassy of Cyprus

Washington

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