In the 27 January 2006 issue of Frankfurter Allgemeine with conservative tendencies published in Germany, the article appeared with the signature of Werner Adam and that was entitled “There is nothing apart from disagreeableness in Cyprus” it has been stated that: --The President Turning His Back on the Intermediaries and Putting Himself in a Difficult Position-- It seems that the reunion of Cyprus is increasingly getting far. Papadopoulos who is the President of the majority of the Greek Cypriots and who represents the Island Republic as the President in the international area is especially coming under the suspicion that he is not interested in an equality with the Turkish minority and thus overcoming the division. Instead of this Papadopoulos appears to risk the danger of the EU’s member in the east being isolated in foreign policy. This situation has been indicated especially by the treatment the UK Foreign Minister Straw has been subject to in his visit to the Island this week that was challengingly overlooked by the President and his government. Through this, Papadopoulos reacted against Straw’s insistence on meeting the leader of the Turkish Cypriots Talat in the “Presidential Palace” in Nicosia. Greek Cypriot side has not objected to such visits of the foreign visitors up to now. However, this time Papadopoulos had given the signs of receiving Straw only if he meets with Talat in a hotel or similar “neutral” environment but not in his office long before the UK Foreign Minister’s arrival at the island. Straw did not give up his intention and thus the practice that was also a tradition for the foreign politicians who made a visit during the time of the leader of the Turkish Cypriots Rauf Denktaş. Despite Straw’s guarantee that he came as the friend of Cyprus and his meeting with Talat should not be evaluated as “raising the value” of London’s relations with the Turkish occupied region or “not understood as a sign for the recognition of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus step by step” he was unable to deter Papadopoulos from his decision. On the contrary, the last of these expressions echoed like an insult: For, UN Secretary General Annan got Straw, on the day he arrived in Nicosia, stated to the public opinion that he was “optimistic” that he will try out every means in order to support “active initiative” of the UN in its search for Cyprus issue. The reaction of Papadopoulos who perceived the Annan’s praising expressions on Straw’s Cyprus visit as “a slap on its face” according to the Greek Cypriots was so harsh. Papadopoulos said that “If the UN Secretary General evaluates the visit of the UK Foreign minister as a part of the efforts of those who act as intermediary they should prove that they are objective then and they should clearly indicate that they are acting not for their own interests but for the interests of two sides”. With this attitude of his, Papadopoulos received support not only from the coalition parties the largest of which is the communist party but also from the conservative opposition. Since the rejection of the Annan plan by a great majority of the Greeks in the referendum held in April 2004 and its acceptance by the Turks in a great majority, what has come down to the zero level is not only the relations between the UN Secretary General and the Greek President. In fact, the objections made by the Greek Cypriots to this plan were not considered unfair, for, it was clear that this plan took into consideration the requests of the Turkish side in a quite detailed way. Despite this, the Greek Cypriots’ saying no who joined among them after this referendum met with the reaction of the EU member countries. The then Commissioner for enlargement said that he was “deceived” by Papadopoulos. The President of Cyprus has been having trouble in the international arena since then. After the Greek Cypriots’ saying no, Papadopoulos has to understand that Americans and the British support not only to the Turks of the island but also to Turkey that has kept the northern part of the island under military occupation since 1974. This situation seems to strengthen Papadopoulos rejecting attitude with the leader of the Turkish community Talat. In fact since the period before he became the President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus Talat has defended the reunion of Cyprus, which is different from his separatist predecessor Denktaş. Papadopoulos and his Government receive a general support form the European Union in a certain point: As a member country Turkey can avoid neither to recognize Cyprus nor open its airports and ports to Cyprus aircraft and ships. When the UK Foreign Minister arrived in Cyprus Gül was waiting in Ankara with a proposal that may put the Cyprus President in an additional difficulty. The Foreign Minister of Turkey proposed that “a high level meeting be held” in May or in June in order to “remove all the limitations against both sides of Cyprus” with the participation of the Turkey, Greece and “Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot sides”. Papadopoulos, objecting to this proposal stated that he has not seen anybody welcoming this proposal apart from the media. The EU Commissioner for enlargement Rehn stated clearly that Gül’s proposal deserved being considered seriously. The Cyprus President also accused the UK Foreign minister of putting aside “the sensitivities of the Cyprus people” and thus creating “tension and disagreeableness in Cyprus-UK relations” by visiting Talat in his office. Straw whose visit plan included Athens and Ankara after Nicosia avoided making a statement in the face of this attitude of the President; however he did not leave any place for suspicion that the greatest obstacle for the solution of the Cyprus problem between the two societies is insufficiency of dialog. What is meant by this may be Papadopoulos, for Talat has always been in efforts to this end as opposed to Papadopoulos. A newspaper approaching the government in Nicosia in a critical way has written in an ironic way that in time of Denktaş the things were easier and it was known that at each meeting with the former leader of the Turkish community, - numerous meetings were held between Denktaş and the former Cyprus President Klerides - a meeting was held with a person who was definitely against the reunion, and now Papadopulos is on the road to assuming this role.”
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