Important developments are expected in the Cyprus issue in 2006. Despite all the attempts of the Cypriote Greek Administration to hinder the commercial and bilateral relations of the international organizations and other states with the Cypriote Turks, it is observed that the tendency for the idea that the isolation against the Turkish society living in the north of the Island should be stooped is increasing. It is obvious that the strategy of the Greek side, which aims to be always the winner by conducting a policy of inactivity about the solution of the Cyprus issue, does not bring any outcome. The fact that the EU, which is considered as the key for the solution by the USA, UK, UN and even Papadopoulos, gives the messages that the current status quo cannot continue increases the pressures on the Greek side. The British Foreign Minister Jack Straw stated that, in the framework of the contacts he made in Cyprus, the attitude of the Greek government does not aim in any way to unify Cyprus and warned that the current status quo in Cyprus will led to the de facto recognition. Since 2004, the USA has been taking some steps to encourage the trade with the Cypriote Turks. The visit of the US authorities to the North and the training seminars which brought the Cypriote Turks and the representatives of the US companies together should be assessed in this framework. The US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice summarized the stance of the USA about the Cyprus issue with these words: “We effort to bring a solution to the Cyprus issue. Cyprus is currently a member of the EU and some works in the political plan are being conducted in this framework”. Rice also stated that the US government is seriously working to return to the point of one year ago regarding to the Cyprus issue, in other words to the Annan Plan. The Washington Times, a US newspaper, published an article on February 21, 2006. This article, which is titled “USA Ready to Make Trade with Cypriote Turks”, is written by Nicholas Kralev and reveals the US stance about the Cyprus issue. It is said in this article that: For the first time since the Turkish occupation thirty years ago, the USA has been preparing to make direct trade with the Northern Cyprus through some steps that are considered by the Cypriote Greek government in Nicosia as an “implicit recognition” and are therefore rejected. According to the statements of the US authorities, the US Administration and companies are currently working with the Cypriote Turks in order to ensure the healthy working conditions and providing the work practice to the potential exporters. An official from the US Department of State says that the USA considers the alleviation of the isolation against the Northern Cyprus as the best way for the re-unification of the Island and adds that “we lay the foundation”. He also states that: “we provide direct assistance in order to facilitate the direct trade. The current gap between South and North is huge. It is necessary to fill this gap for the unification of the Island”. Similar to all the American officials who are asked their views in this article, speaks on condition that his name is not announced. The northern Cyprus has been de facto isolated since the occupation of the Turkish army one week after the coup in Nicosia in 1974 with the support of Greece. Turkey still supports the Northern Cyprus economically and it is the only country recognizing the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus the Cypriote Greek government accepts that the economic, commercial and social relations with the Turkish Cypriotes will be encouraged; but objects the direct contacts with the political leaders of the North during a period when the USA, UK and other European countries favor the ending of this isolation. Washington and London want the Cypriote ports to be allowed the direct trade; but Nicosia demand that the goods are brought by trucks to the Southern Cypriote ports being under the control of the government of the Republic of Cyprus, which is recognized internationally. The Ambassador of Cyprus in Washington Euripides Evriviades indicates that opening the ports in the North will mean the recognition of the Cypriote Turkish state. The ambassador states that to meet the Cypriote Turkish political leaders will cause similar problems, referring to the insistence of the British Foreign Minister Jack Straw to meet the Cypriote Turkish leader Mehmet Ali Talat in his office last month. Evriviades says that: “such contacts damage the legitimacy of our government and increases the legitimacy of the TRNC”. The US authorities, however, are siding with Straw in this issue and object the idea that the visit to Talat or the contact with Talat’s government means to legitimate a unilaterally declared republic. An American official, who intends to visit the Northern Cyprus this year, indicates that he will also meet the Cypriote Turkish authorities. This official says that: “we do not recognize the state called the TRNC. We do not want two separate states. We want a unified Island. Anything we have done cannot be regarded as the ‘implicit recognition’ ”. He also adds that in the referendum in 2004, the Cypriote Turks gave serious concessions in the framework of the Annan Plan for the re-unification of the Island and indicates that they need a sign or kind of prize supporting their political position and indicating the rightness of what they did. The Cypriote Greeks declined the plan, which was elaborated under the auspices of the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, well before their accession to the European Union and caused the anger of the USA and EU. The entire geography of Cyprus is now included in the European Union; but the agreement of Unison has been suspended in the North. It is planned that the Cypriote President Tassos Papadopoulos and Annan come together in order to start the negotiations for the re-unification Turkey, who started the accession talks with the European Union in the fall, has the obligation to open its port to the Cypriote Greek planes and ships. On Friday, Cyprus threatened to veto the Turkey’s membership, if Ankara does not implement the requirements of the EU. Evriviades states that the USA considers Cyprus from the prism of its strategic relations with Turkey which is a secular Muslim country having key importance. The Ambassador describes the USA, UK and Turkey as three “feudal lords” oppressing the Cypriote Greeks and states that: “it is almost a complete neo-colonialism. We have not any luck with these feudal lords”.
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