NEWS

Turkish Parliament should guarantee security

As for the issue of security, is there the impression that the Greek side has been inactive? It is not right to say that the security issue has not been raised. In fact the talks in The Hague broke down precisely on this issue, which was one of the first that I had raised in my meeting with Annan. My view was that the (Annan) plan should be put to a referendum within 30 days. However, the Cypriot voters are not only the refugees. Not everyone wants to return to the occupied territory and to former property. There are many people, perhaps the majority, from Paphos, Limassol, Nicosia, who are not interested in going back to their former homes, because they did not live in the occupied territory before the invasion and therefore they did not have property to lose. But they are interested in their security. What am I supposed to tell them about security? I raised this question with Annan: «Is it possible to have a solution without first settling the question of security?» «Certainly not,» he replied. Where are you now with this issue? Before the last meeting on the evening of March 1 in The Hague between Annan and representatives of the guarantor powers, he met with myself and with Denktash. I told him that I did not accept the proclamation which said that the text was ratified by Denktash. I emphasized that I wanted the decision ratified by the Turkish Parliament. Their reply was «Yes, you are right.» But the response from Turkey’s representatives, those whom Lord [David] Hannay had presented to us as «moderates,» was negative. «Turkey is a great, serious state and it will abide by its commitments,» they said. My reply was that experience had taught us just the opposite and that I could accept no less than what I had asked for. The Turks’ refusal annoyed even Lord Hannay, who said that the same gentlemen had said something quite different when in Ankara. It was virtually over this issue that the talks in The Hague broke down.