NEWS

Details of UN blueprint

LONDON (Reuters) – Talks resume today on a new plan to reunify Cyprus after three decades of failed diplomacy over the divided Mediterranean island. Here are the key details of the so-called Annan Plan, the starting point for the talks, which was first introduced in November 2002 and named for United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan: GOAL: To create a relationship of «political equality» between the Greek and Turkish communities. WHAT DOES IT DO? – Cyprus would form a federated, independent country made up of two equal component states, one Greek Cypriot and one Turkish Cypriot, which would cooperate with each other and the common state. – There would be power sharing at central government level. – Cyprus would have a single international legal personality and sovereignty. – There would be a single Cypriot citizenship and Cypriots would also hold citizenship of one of the component states. – Boundaries between the two communities would be redrawn to give some territory back to Greek Cypriots. – There would be freedom of movement across the island but some initial restrictions on Cypriots wishing to move permanently to the other constituent state. – Compensation would be paid to those unable to get back their former homes or property. – Thousands of mainland Turks who have settled in Cyprus since 1974 would be allowed to remain, depending on their length of residence. – Turkish and Greek troops would scale down the level of forces on the island, aiming for an eventual final pullout. PRESIDENCY: The leaders of the two component states would be co-presidents of Cyprus for a transition period of 30 months. – The office of Head of State would be vested in the six-member Presidential Council, which would exercise executive power. The council’s membership would be in proportion to the population of the two component states, although at least two members would have to come from each state. – The council’s presidency and vice presidency would rotate every 10 months among its members. TERRITORY: Turkish Cypriots would give up some 7 to 9 percent of the land they control in the northern third of the island. Former colonial power Britain would facilitate redrawing the boundaries by ceding a little less than half of the 3 percent of territory it holds in Cyprus for military bases. MILITARY: Greece and Turkey would be allowed to keep up to 6,000 troops on the island, with an eventual pullout once Turkey joins the European Union. (Ankara hopes to win a date late this year to start EU accession talks, which would be a lengthy process.) Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot forces (including reserve units) would be dissolved and their arms removed. A United Nations peacekeeping operation would monitor the implementation of the agreement. How the talks will be conducted LONDON (Reuters) – Greek- and Turkish-Cypriot leaders resume talks today aimed at ending the 30-year division of the Mediterranean island before it joins the European Union on May 1. Here are some quick facts on how the talks might proceed: – The talks will take place in a 1948 terminal building at the disused Nicosia International Airport, an area which straddles the no man’s land running through the divided island. – It is likely the leaders will meet three times a week in the presence of Alvaro de Soto, special adviser to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Technical teams dealing with the details will confer daily. – Negotiations will be in English, if the tradition of past talks is observed. – Media are likely to be allowed access only to the opening session of negotiations, which will be followed by a news blackout. – A Cyprus deal would be based on a largely decentralized, bizonal federation, with one area populated largely by Greek Cypriots and the other by Turkish Cypriots. – The toughest negotiations will be over the size of refugee and territory exchanges and the status of Greek and Turkish troops on the island. – Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots will negotiate until March 22, when Turkey and Greece will join talks for another week. – If some issues are unresolved, Annan would fill in the gaps to allow a final text to be put to a referendum of both sides on April 21.