The resounding *#8220;no*#8221; vote to the *#8220;Annan Plan*#8221; by 75.9 percent of the Greek Cypriot majority is a vote for the rule of law and for what is right. By that vote, Cyprus has become the conscience of the West on the rule of law.
The *#8220;Annan Plan*#8221; has many flaws, and a leading flaw is its violation of the rule of law. Here are several examples:
Colonists/settlers. The Geneva Convention of 1949, section III, article 49, prohibits colonization by an occupying power. Section III of the Geneva Convention deals with Occupied Territories. Article 49 states in its last paragraph: *#8220;The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.*#8221; Today there are reported estimates of over 100,000 illegal Turkish colonists in Cyprus.
The *#8220;Annan Plan*#8221; is in violation of the Geneva Convention in not calling for the return to Turkey of all illegal colonists.
Turkish aggression and the U.N. Charter. Turkey*#8217;s use of military force to invade and occupy 37.3% of Cyprus directly violated the plain meaning of the Preamble of the United Nations Charter, Article 1, paragraph 1 on the purposes of the U.N. Charter and Article 2, paragraph 4 of the U.N. Charter which reads:
*#8220;All members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.*#8221;
Sir David Hunt, former British High Commissioner in Cyprus, stated in the 1980 Montague Burton Lecture on International Relations in Edinburgh University:
*#8220;But the rule of law, as both philosophers and practical statesmen agree, can only be established when there are institutions to formulate it and maintain it. Almost as essential is for it to be universally recognized. These conditions have now prevailed for thirty-five years. The basis of international law is formulated in the Charter of the United Nations; and the same document provides for the organs to enforce it. All the sovereign nations of the world have voluntarily undertaken to observe the obligations which the Charter lays on them: that disputes are to be settled by peaceful means; that members undertake not to use force or the threat of force in contravention of the purposes of the United Nations; and that each member must assist the organization in any action it takes under the Charter*#8230;.
*#8220;[T]here is a rule of law in the world and the guarantee of it is the United Nations. Applying these principles to the case of Cyprus it is clear and undeniable that the government of Turkey, by invading with military force the territory of the Republic of Cyprus, is in open and deliberate breach of the Charter.*#8221;
The *#8220;Annan Plan*#8221; is actually in violation of the U.N. Charter by its attempt to eliminate Turkey*#8217;s responsibility for her 1974 aggression against Cyprus.
U.N. Security Council and General Assembly Resolutions. The *#8220;Annan Plan*#8221; is also in violation of numerous U.N. Security Council resolutions which called upon all states to respect the sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of Cyprus and demanded the immediate end to foreign intervention and called for foreign military forces to withdraw without delay except those authorized by international treaty. The Treaty of Alliance under the London-Zurich agreements of 1959-1960 authorized 960 Greek troops and 650 Turkish troops.
However, the *#8220;Annan Plan*#8221; also violated the unanimous U.N. General Assembly Resolution 3212 of November 1, 1974 which called for the removal of ALL foreign military forces. On December 13, 1974 the U.N. Security Council adopted Resolution 365 endorsing General Assembly Resolution 3212 of November 1, 1974. The *#8220;Annan Plan*#8221; provided for a number of Turkish troops to remain with the right of intervention.
The *#8220;Annan Plan*#8221; thus violated U.N. Security Council and U.N. General Assembly Resolutions. The *#8220;Annan Plan*#8221; further violated U.N. Security Council and General Assembly Resolution by abolishing the Republic of Cyprus and creating two states on Cyprus.
Legal Right to Sue. The *#8220;Annan Plan*#8221; actually abrogated the legal right of Greek Cypriots to sue Turkey in the European Court of Human Rights for Turkey*#8217;s illegally taking of their homes and property and Turkey*#8217;s not allowing them the use of their property. It also required pending suits to be withdrawn.
Aggression cannot and will not pay. The United Nations established a precedent in the 1991 Gulf War that *#8220;aggression cannot and will not pay*#8221; as stated in a joint statement by President George H.W. Bush and President Mikhail Gorbachev in Helsinki on September 9, 1990. Yet under the *#8220;Annan Plan*#8221;, Turkey:
– is not required to remove her 100,000 illegal colonists;
– is not required to pay for the resettlement of Greek Cypriot refugees;
– is allowed to control 28.5% of Cyprus for the 18% Turkish Cypriot minority;
– is not required to pay compensation for illegally occupying Greek Cypriot property and for preventing those property owners from using their property. Under the *#8220;Annan Plan*#8221; the Greek Cypriot taxpayer would be required to pay ninety percent of the damages caused by Turkey.
President Tassos Papadopoulos in his comments following the 75.9-percent vote said:
*#8220;I should emphasize that the Greek Cypriots have not rejected the solution of the Cyprus problem. They are not turning their backs on their Turkish Cypriot compatriots.
*#8220;They have simply rejected this particular solution . . . because, amongst other things, they did not believe that this solution provides the necessary safeguards for its full implementation . . . or is the best for the common interest of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, ensuring a functional and, therefore, viable solution. The only real beneficiary of this plan would have been Turkey.
*#8220;We shall work for a bizonal bicommunal federation as a solution that will meet the hopes and expectations of both communities.*#8221;
He stated that *#8220;further to the measures adopted in favour of Turkish Cypriots over the last year, proof of our intentions are the new measures of support and economic development of the Turkish Cypriot compatriots, to the extent possible and permissible, in the benefits which our accession to the European Union will bring.*#8221;
He called upon *#8220;Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots to work together for a united Cyprus*#8221;; and that the *#8220;referendum must act as a catalyst for unification and not as a pretext for further division.*#8221;
He concluded: *#8220;We, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, deserve a safe future within the European family, as one country, as the one people of Cyprus.*#8221;
The theme in a famous British movie, *#8220;The Winslow Boy,*#8221; is *#8220;Let right be done.*#8221; The British bear a heavy responsibility in the months ahead to see to it that right is done.
Cyprus is the conscience of the West on the rule of law. It is in the interests of the U.S. to support the rule of law and to support President Papadopoulos in his efforts to unify Cyprus for the benefit of the people of Cyprus, the Greek and Turkish Cypriots.
Gene Rossides is former Assistant*nbsp; Secretary of the Treasury, is President of the American Hellenic Institute.