OPINION

Revive Annan plan?

The European Council decision that gave Turkey a green light for the launch of EU membership talks prompted calls from Ankara and some influential Western states for a revival of the United Nations peace plan for Cyprus ahead of October 3. Pressure is thereby building up on Nicosia, and to a lesser extent on Athens, as, following the sweeping rejection of the Annan plan in the island’s referendum, both have followed a policy of so-called creative ambiguity (which was largely justified by the circumstances). More specifically, Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos had at the time declared their commitment to finding a solution on the basis of the blueprint presented by the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, which, however, foresaw that any rejection of the plan by one of the two parties would mean its annulment. The Greek and Greek-Cypriot remarks were aimed at soothing irritation among some powerful Western governments over the Greek Cypriot «no» vote on the Cyprus referendum. Also, they were prompted by concerns that some states would try to torpedo Cyprus’s accession on May 1. Note that Karamanlis and Papadopoulos both came under strong fire from other parties. Sure, recent calls to revive the Annan plan have caused nervousness in Athens and Nicosia. However, if something has changed compared to the recent past, it is that Cyprus’s membership is no longer in jeopardy. The island irrevocably joined the bloc on May 1, and each passing day it is growing more and more integrated in the EU.