FM: Annan must not fail again

The so-called «Annan plan» devised a couple of years ago by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to reunify Cyprus «is history,» Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis, one of the plan’s backers, told an Austrian daily. In an interview to Die Presse published yesterday, Bakoyannis, who was on an official visit to Austria, said that Annan’s new effort must not be allowed to fail. «The Annan plan is history,» Bakoyiannis said. «We now have a new situation. Greece supports the new efforts of the UN Secretary-General. His meeting with Cypriot President (Tassos) Papadopoulos went well. It is important for this new effort (to resolve the Cyprus issue) to be well-prepared. We must avoid a new failure. This time, we must succeed.» Asked about her support for the Annan plan, narrowly approved by Turkish Cypriots but massively rejected by Greek Cypriots in April 2004, Bakoyannis replied: «I had said that (the plan) had more positive than negative aspects. In a democracy, however, people decide. And the people – the Greek Cypriots – rejected the Annan plan. We must now make a new effort, with a new plan, based on UN resolutions and the European reality.» Bakoyannis’s appointment as Foreign Minister last month has been hotly debated in Cyprus, where people fear that she would push for a revival of the Annan plan. But many Europeans, as well as the US and Turkey, suspect – to varying degrees – that Cypriot president Tassos Papadopoulos’s repeated calls to end the division of Cyprus on the basis of «the European reality» hide designs to deprive the Turkish Cypriot minority of its status as an equal constituent element of the Republic of Cyprus. Bakoyannis also said that Turkey must stop threatening Greece with war if it aspires to join the EU.