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Saturday, January 21, 2006

Turkey's Red Lines

It's amazing isn't it, how practically all Turkish demands were met in the Annan plan V. In previous versions of the plan, all Turkish Troops were to leave Cyprus within 15 years or upon Turkey joining the EU ... whichever came earlier. Without any negotiation on this matter, the final Annan plan allowed a certain number of Turkish troops to stay on the island in perpetuity.

Turk Generals insisted some troops must stay – Tassos

Turkish Generals insisted that some Turkish troops should stay in Cyprus, even after a settlement based on the Annan Plan, and UN officials acting as "arbitrators" quickly accepted their demand, without bothering even to inform the Greek Cypriot side about the change.

Earlier versions of the Annan Plan, the product of negotiation, provided that all Turkish troops would pull out of the island by stages.

This was revealed by President Papadopoulos as he spoke to foreign correspondents at a CNA-sponsored luncheon this week.

Annan Plan V, drafted at Burgenstock in April 2004, was rejected by the overwhelming majority of Greek Cypriot voters, while approved by Turkish Cypriots.

Papadopoulos, who led the Greek Cypriot side at the meetings, said he was told by Secretary-General Kofi Annan and other UN officials that the continued presence of Turkish troops on the island was a "red line" for Turkish generals."

As a result, a proviso was incorporated in the final draft, stating that 650 Turkish troops would stay on the island, even after a final settlement establishing the United Republic of Cyprus.

Papadopoulos noted that earlier versions of the Plan, the product of negotiations, called for the complete pullout of the estimated 35,000 Turkish troops occupying northern Cyprus since 1974.

When Papadopoulos saw the new addition, he complained to Annan and other UN mediators telling them: "Why didn’t you ask me? Where is the give and take?" which is the basis of any negotiation.

The President told journalists that the Turks, through high ranking diplomat Ugur ziyal, had presented a list of eleven demands at Burgenstock, to be incorporated in the UN blueprint.

He said the UN satisfied "ten and a half" of the Turkish positions.

When he told UN envoy Alvaro de Soto about this, the Peruvian diplomat reportedly told him that the UN satisfied only eight of the eleven Turkish demands.

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