The President of Cyprus will meet Kofi Annan June 3rd and address community meeting in Astoria
NEW YORK.- By Apostolos Zoupaniotis
The President of the Republic of Cyprus Tassos Papadopoulos arrived yesterday in Boston Massachusetts, first stop of a week long visit to the United States. President Papadopoulos who is accompanied by the Minister of Energy, Tourism and Commerce, George Lillikas, will sign an agreement with the School of Public Health of Harvard University, to establish an international research, education and technology initiative for the environment and public health in Cyprus. The signing ceremony will take place on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, June 1, 2004 at 5 p.m. the President of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr. Tassos Papadopoulos will offer a public address, “Cyprus at a Crossroads: The Way Forward”, at the Wiener Auditorium (Taubman building, ground floor) of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, 1 Eliot Street, Cambridge, MA. A Reception will follow in the Collins Family Rotunda outside of the auditorium.
President Papadopoulos will then move on to New York where on the morning of the 3 June he will meet UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. At 7:30 pm, at the Crystal Palace in Astoria, Papadopoulos will address a meeting of Greek Americans, organized by the Cyprus Federation of America and PSEKA, as well as SAE and other major Greek American federations.
During the gathering, the President of Cyprus will present the latest developments on the Cyprus problem, in the aftermath of the April 24 referenda.
On Saturday, President Papadopoulos will sit at a formal dinner in honor of Archbishop of America Demetrios, and Greek American magnate Alex Spanos. Both will be awarded with the medal of the Order of Makarios III.
As the President stated before departing for Mexico, he will ask Mr. Annan to keep open the road towards the reunification of Cyprus. And he pointed out that he does not object to the economic aid to Turkish-Cypriots. However, he added: First, the Turkish-Cypriot isolation is in many ways self-imposed, because they want to achieve some kind of recognition through the economic aid. Second, any measures for Turkish-Cypriots are welcome, as long as they contribute to the reunification effort and don’t entrench division.
THE US MEASURES
After the conclusion of the first phase of the revision process of the US policy on Cyprus, the State Department decided to take measures for the end of the Turkish-Cypriot isolation and for the economic development of the Turkish-Cypriot community. The measures will be gradually implemented and don’t foresee a recognition of the “state” of the occupied areas.
According to information, the measures will be officially announced by the US embassy in Cyprus, before the United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan files his report to the Security Council.
On Thursday, the US Embassy in Nicosia announced revised visa policy for Turkish Cypriots.
The statement says:
“In an effort to make travel from Cyprus to the United States more convenient for Turkish Cypriots, holders of “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC)” passports are now eligible for consideration of a visa valid for up to two years. Moreover, eligible Turkish Cypriot applicants will in most cases receive multiple entry visas. Previously, applicants holding “TRNC” passports received a visa valid for a maximum period of six months, which was good for only two entries into the United States.
This change in policy will especially benefit students from the “TRNC”. Students often travel between Cyprus and the USA several times while they are pursuing their studies. Increases in visa validity and the multiple entry feature will also give students more flexibility when traveling to regional destinations from the U.S., such as Mexico and Canada, thereby increasing their cultural and educational opportunities.
The United States Embassy emphasizes the importance for all applicants of applying for their visas well in advance of their anticipated travel date to allow for the necessary processing time. This advice is even more important in the light of the beneficial change in visa policy. As always, the amount of time needed to issue a visa varies, depending on the individual circumstances of the applicant.
This new policy goes into effect immediately”
Our Washington correspondent Michael Ignatiou reports that the US measures for the Turkish-Cypriots concern:
First: Trade and transport. The United States will follow the policy chosen by the European Union. In particular, the new trade policy for the occupied, mainly concerning export documentation, is expected to be announced in Brussels and Washington by late June. At the same time, the procedure will change so that the “state” of the occupied could issue health certificates for animals.
Second: Organizations coming under the United Nations, and recognizing only the Cyprus government, for example the Postal Agency, will start cooperating with the “state” of the occupied. It is believed that one of the recommendations of the Secretary-General to the Security Council will pave the way for the change of the current regime. At the same time, a change of policy will also be attempted in some organizations not coming under the United Nations, such as international football associations (FIFA, UEFA, and others).
Third: The US will take measures unilaterally, regarding the upgrading of Mehmet Ali Talat’s status, without the recognition of his regime. More particularly, Ambassador Michael Klosson will be visiting the illegal “prime minister” in his office. Moreover, the pseudostate “delegations” in Washington and the UN seat will be allowed to increase, while the visa regime will change. Turkish-Cypriots will obtain a visa allowing them to travel more than once, as was the regime until now. The US representative office in the occupied areas will be enlarged and an officer responsible for visas will be appointed. Moreover, it was decided to boost tourism in the occupied areas and as a first step the US troops residing in Insirlik base, will spend part of their vacations in the occupied.
Fourth: All US departments and services issuing reports will also include the Turkish-Cypriot community. For instance, the report on human rights or drugs will refer to the situation in the “state” of the occupied.
Fifth: Increased economic aid will be offered by Washington to Turkish-Cypriot students and teachers, and bicommunal programs will be reinforced. Moreover, the US government is setting up a package of generous economic aid that will prepare the Turkish-Cypriot community to join the European Union.
According to the diplomatic source, the revision of the US policy doesn’t include at this stage the recognition of the occupation regime. The presence of the occupation leader Rauf Denktash will be a serious obstacle, while the US know the reaction of Russia, China and EU member-states, which follow the developments without intervening for the moment.
According to a diplomatic source, the report on the good offices mission of the UN Secretary General, will be handed over before the meeting of Mr. Annan with President Tassos Papadopoulos, which has been scheduled for June 3rd. According to the source, the famous report, which will lay blame to the Cypriot leader and will give advice to Greek-Cypriots and Turkish-Cypriots, will be filed on June 1st. The Secretary-General will also make recommendations to the Security Council, regarding the framework of the Cyprus solution.
The US is making use of the UN Secretary-General’s report to provide a legal basis for any measures they will eventually take, in order to grant economic aid to the pseudostate and end international isolation. The US hope that some of their economic and political measures will be adopted in Mr. Annan’s report on Cyprus.
Permanent Representatives of Greece and Cyprus, Ambassadors Adamantios Vassilakis and Andreas Mavroyiannis held meetings with Security Council members, as well as high rank officials of the UN Secretariat, to protest the intention of Mr Annan to include in his report suggestions to address the issue of the so-called “t/c isolation”. A Greek Cypriot diplomatic source has told “GreekNews” that this exceeds and violates the good offices mission of the Secretary General.
According to diplomatic sources, it will be difficult, if not impossible, for the Security Council to adopt any recommendations by Mr. Annan, if they are against the international law. At the same time, the US is also facing legal hurdles, since they cannot help the Turkish-Cypriots without violating the international conventions they signed. This is why no reference is made to flights from the US to the pseudostate, for the time being, since there is a problem with ICAO regarding the opening of illegal ports as well.