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OXYANNAN IN CYPRUS -- AND THE PLAN WAS NOT EVEN HIS.

25 June 2004

So many senior men, so little outcome. Two Under Secretary Generals, one Assistant Secretary General, topped by none other than the Secretary General -- lent their shoulders, their wheels to the process on Cyprus. The result was worse than when it started.

Visitors to Cyprus could still notice the impact of a failed referendum plan. OxyAnnan, using the Greek word for No, is still on everyone's mind. Greek Cypriots who voted by an overwhelming majority against what was claimed to be Annan's plan are wondering why did the usually courteous Secretary General pounce on them with vengeance. Why a referendum if the plan was "the only game in town?" Why try to impose a set determination and claim democracy? Why try to preach democracy to those who invented the word?! Why Mr. Annan, who hardly knows the politics of the Island, is so upset about a plan which he merely adopted, adapted, touted, over dinner at a secluded Swiss resort and tried to ram down their throats? Why this "vengeful" attitude and "vindictive" approach? Was it because they are a small country determined to stick to what they think is their right? Why did a plan of the U.N., which had supported the unity of Cyprus for decades end up looking like a cover for its practical division? How could it allow for keeping Turkish troops which had invaded the island if a reconciliation is contemplated? Why disregard existing treaties signed by the internationally recognized government, like navigation arrangements, while keeping 60 agreements signed by a de-facto (unrecognized) Turkish authority? How could there be a Cypriot sovereignty when controversial issues would be settled not by 3 Greeks and 3 Turks, but by the other 3 foreigners? Why submit a referendum if you do not mobilize, explain, orient, communicate, and persuade the people directly involved (and concerned)? And, in the first place, why submit, persist, and insist on a plan which is not yours?

Many questions while no one at the U.N. seems ready, able, or willing to answer. Knock, Knock!