WASHINGTON, DC.- Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-Queens & Manhattan) joined with prominent members of the Hellenic Community at the 15th Annual Cyprus Conference. Speaking before the conference, Representative Maloney said:
“I am pleased to be here today with all of you to celebrate the fact that the Republic of Cyprus, along with nine other countries from Central and Eastern Europe, has just become a full-fledged member of the European Union. This has been a long time in coming, and I know that Cyprus will have much to contribute to the EU.
“Although we all wanted to see the division of Cyprus end before its accession to the EU, the inadequate Annan Plan for a Cyprus settlement was justly voted down by the Greek Cypriots.
However, many officials, including some at the State Department, don’t seem to understand how objectionable the Plan actually was.
“Now is not the time to give up. Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos contended that the ”no” vote by the Greek Cypriot community on the Annan Plan was not the end of the road, noting that he remained focused on reaching a bizonal, bicommunal federation settlement.
“Mr. Gene Rossides, President of the American Hellenic Institute, summarized it well when he wrote, ‘The UN plan wiped out Turkey’s brutal aggression in 1974 which violated the UN Charter. The European Commission on Human Rights found Turkey guilty of the killing of innocent civilians…on a substantial scale…[of the] rape of women of all ages from 12 to 71, and [of] creating more than 170,000 Greek Cypriot refugees.’
“The Annan Plan would have allowed most of the100,000 illegal Turkish colonists to remain on the island, violating the Geneva Convention which prohibits colonization by an occupying power. It also would have allowed Turkish troops to remain with the right of intervention.
“It would have penalized the Greek Cypriot property owners and perpetuated ethnic divisions. This kind of double standard on the rule of law for Turkey would have been harmful to US.
“The US stands for democracy. We should not be rewarding the Turkish aggressor and punishing its victims. The no vote of the Greek Cypriots was simply based on an adherence to human rights, human decency, and the rule of law.
“In speaking with my Greek Cypriot friends, I understand that they would gladly vote for a constitution based on the 16-page U.S. Constitution, as opposed to one based on the 9,500-page document presented to them.
“Every day, 6,000 Turkish Cypriots enter the south to receive visas and meet other needs. Since these visitations have started, all the people of Cyprus are working together, including Greeks, Turks, Marinates, Latins, and Armenians. The people of Cyprus deserve a unified and democratic country.
“As Co-Chair of the Hellenic Caucus, I say Zeto E Eleftherea (Long Live Freedom)
and Enomene E Kypros (A United Cyprus).”