Spokesman: US administration follows double-standard policy on Cyprus
Nicosia, Apr 28 -- Cyprus Government Spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides spoke of ''a double-standard policy'' on behalf of the US administration as regards Cyprus.
The Cypriot official was commenting on remarks by US State Department deputy spokesman Adam Ereli, who, invited to say if the US administration could put the pressure of the international community on Turkey to leave Cyprus, implementing UN resolutions, as it the case of Syria which is leaving Lebanon after 29 years, he said the best solution for Cyprus was the Annan plan, which ''provided a way forward that we believed met the needs of both communities.''
Commenting on a planned visit to the region by US Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs and asked if the trip would take on a fact-finding nature, Chrysostomides said ''the US diplomacy has said Ms Laura Kennedy is coming to listen.''
Regarding Ereli's statements, Chrysostomides said there was ''a double-standard policy regarding the withdrawal of troops illegally stationed in third countries, in countries that do not wish their presence there.''
He noted that in the case of Lebanon there was great pressure on behalf of the UN and the US for the withdrawal of the Syrian troops, while the same did not apply in the case of Cyprus. ''The same policy should have been followed here as well,'' the Cypriot official added.
Referring to the Cyprus settlement plan proposed by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, Chrysostomides said the only competent authority to decide was the people of Cyprus.
The plan was put before the two communities in April 2004 and was rejected by the Greek Cypriots and accepted by the Turkish Cypriot community.
''The decision regarding the plan remains the same and was taken last year. It is a decision on the specific plan, not on the solution, which along with the reunification of our country remains the permanent aim of our side,'' Chrysostomides said.
He added that the aim was for an agreed settlement in the UN framework after proper preparation that would guarantee the successful outcome of the effort.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of its territory.