NEWS

Greek faith in UN Cyprus plan

The 30th anniversary yesterday of the Turkish invasion which divided Cyprus was marked by strikingly different ceremonies and moods on the two sides of the island. Greek Cypriots held memorial services for the dead and prayers for the return of refugees to their homes and the recovery of missing troops and civilians, while Turkish Cypriots celebrated with a military parade. In Athens, Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis noted that the anniversary was a good opportunity to think of the way ahead. «It is a reason to think hard and to plan our future action,» he said in a statement. «The Republic of Cyprus’s accession to the EU is an event that will act as a catalyst for a better future of security and well-being, to the benefit of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots,» he said. «Today we all have a duty to contribute to healing the wounds of the past, to contribute to the building of a new, optimistic outlook for Cyprus, with the achievement of a just, functional and viable solution on the basis of the UN secretary-general’s plan, for the benefit of both communities and the broader region of the Eastern Mediterranean,» Karamanlis said. Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos, who led the Greek Cypriots into rejecting Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s plan in an April 24 referendum, has however said that the plan must be changed. Turkish Cypriots have accepted the plan but were left out of the EU because of the Greek Cypriots’ «no» vote just before the island acceded to the Union. Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis stressed that Cyprus’s EU membership «creates a new dynamic for the achieving of the great and fixed target which is the reunification of the island, with a just, functional and viable solution on the basis of the Annan plan and in keeping with EU principles.»