Danish MEP says EP needs more information about Annan plan
Nicosia, Mar 18 (CNA) - The Republic of Cyprus has to inform the European Parliament more about the provisions of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's plan for a Cyprus settlement, that was rejected by the majority of the Greek Cypriot community at a referendum last April, Vice President of the European Parliament's Group ''Union for Europe of the Nations'' Mogens Camre said today.
Camre, who is paying Cyprus a visit at the invitation of ADIK party President Dinos Michaelides, was received today by President of the Republic Tassos Papadopoulos, and met with Acting President of the House of Representatives Vassos Lyssarides and Minister of Foreign Affairs George Iacovou.
''We are closely following in the EP the fight of Cyprus to have respect of the fact that the Greek Cypriots were the victims of the 1974 Turkish occupation of the northern part of the island. Although there are quite many people in the EP who do not understand the implications of the Annan plan, we slowly try to explain to them that this plan would be unjust and unfair to the Greek Cypriot side,'' he noted after his meeting with Iacovou.
Camre expressed the opinion that the Annan plan ''punishes the victims and lets them pay once more for the injustice done in 1974'' and added that the Greek Cypriots ''need to inform more, to explain more to the EP.''
He said that at his meeting with President Papadopoulos he was informed that the Annan plan is 9,900-pages-long and said that ''like others, I should admit that I have not read them, nor do I intend to, because the plan is today nil, but I have read the main items of it.''
''There is a pedagogic task of the Cyprus Republic to explain to other Europeans what would be fair and what unfair in the Annan plan,'' the Danish MEP noted.
In statements after his a meeting with Lyssarides, Camre said that Europe has and should play a positive role in the efforts to achieve a just solution to the Cyprus issue.
Lyssarides thanked the Danish MEP for his stance and support and said ''it is very important to know that regarding the Cyprus issue we have a friend who knows the Cyprus problem very well and is ready to support the rights of our people.''
Camre also referred to Turkey's European aspirations and said that in his country, Denmark, 77% of the people are against Turkey's accession, because they consider Turkey to be ''too large, too poor and too different and they feel that Turkey's entry would eventually be a threat to what we consider to be European values.''
''Others hope that we can influence Turkey so much that it will become more European and accept the Copenhagen criteria. It is my belief that changing the culture of a country is something that you cannot just do in ten years, it may last much longer than that,'' he noted.
Referring to the problems Europe is facing, he said that this is a crucial period for the EU, since it has to deal with issues regarding economic growth, unemployment and disagreements on Turkey's accession.
The meeting with President Papadopoulos lasted over an hour and no statements were made afterwards.