Magazine article Insight on the News

Peace and Prosperity Await a Single, Unified Nation of Cyprus

Magazine article Insight on the News

Peace and Prosperity Await a Single, Unified Nation of Cyprus

Article excerpt

How sad that the future of Cyprus, according to the leader of the Turkish-Cypriot community, Rauf Denktash, comes down to the old adage that good fences make good neighbors (see Fair Comment, Jan. 29). Denktash once again has responded negatively to the efforts of the United States, the European Union and the United Nations to promote a process of dialogue aimed at the reunification of Cyprus. It can only be hoped that this is not his last word on the subject.

The Greek-Cypriot community remains fully committed to the U.N.-led effort to reach a comprehensive settlement based on a single sovereign state of Cyprus with a single citizenship but with an international personality. The nation's independence and territorial integrity would be safeguarded, and it would be composed of two politically equal communities, as described in the relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions, in a bicommunal and bizonal federation.

In December 1999, the United Nations embarked on a new effort. Five rounds of proximity talks have taken place so far, and a sixth was scheduled for January until Denktash, branding the talks a "waste of time," announced his withdrawal from this process until the illegal regime in the Turkish-occupied areas of Cyprus is recognized.

Clearly, such a precondition is unacceptable, for it undermines the very objective of the talks: the reunification of Cyprus.

The so-called Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is the product of aggression, occupation and colonization. The nonrecognition of this illegal entity by the United States and every other nation on Earth -- with the exception of Turkey, the occupying power -- is based on a solid refusal to let the dismemberment of Cyprus stand. The unwillingness to accept this forcible division as a fait accompli, apparently much to the dismay of Turkey and Denktash, is a very moral stand, firmly grounded in international law and U.N. Security Council decisions.

It is for this same reason that international efforts aim to tear down the wall, which forcibly divides the people of Cyprus along ethnic lines, while Denktash and Ankara stubbornly fight to maintain the division and the ugly barbed wire through the heart of the sovereign state of Cyprus.

Contrary to the picture painted by Denktash, the Turkish Cypriots are themselves victims of Turkey's policy in Cyprus, which they have been protesting through large-scale demonstrations that have become increasingly common in the occupied area. …

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