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By Peter Stevenson MEMBERS of Volunteer Doctors Cyprus have treated around 350 people at their free clinic in Nicosia since it opened three months ago, while two more, one in Paphos and one in Polis are due to open today. Limassol also has a free clinic, which was opened only last month, and plans have been drawn ...
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Cyprus Internet Directory [ British diplomacy needs a more credible approach in Cyprus ]

British diplomacy needs a more credible approach in Cyprus

ONCE again British diplomacy is trotting the wrong path when dealing with the Cyprus problem. We have of course become accustomed to the solitary vision of Great Britain vis-à-vis Cyprus. Alone, and eventually weak, in the heavy shadow cast by the US. This is the image engraved in the minds of the calmer residents of the island. In the minds of the rest the image is even bleaker.

High Commissioner Peter Millett’s effort to comment on the prospects for the Cyprus problem following the results of the presidential elections is respected. His interest is welcome. We agree with him that time is working against the best interests of Greek Cypriots. We dare add, of all Cypriots. The future of Turkish Cypriots under the military control and custody of Turkey is neither free nor democratic nor even certain.

The British High Commissioner must know that we are aware that leaders on both sides want their respective communities entrenched in illusions of freedom, sovereignty, recognition, security and a bright future.

We are also aware as were our European Irish compatriots that only peace can guarantee a land’s future. As such, Great Britain must cease to underestimate the citizens of Cyprus.

The post-election appearance of the British High Commissioner under the cloak of fatherhood, preaching the sermon for the best and therefore last chance constitutes bad diplomacy, a bad political act. We know well that we are faced with the best and possibly last chance, but Great Britain has lost its good faith in Cyprus. It does not help to scratch old wounds, to cultivate suspicion. We need opinions, ideas and assistance but with respect to the dignity of the entire Cypriot population. We will rejoice and applaud Britain as the carrier of hope, but so far it has done nothing but err. All these years it has shown weakness, lack of imagination, and an absence of a modern and conciliatory policy. What appears to count most is self interest.

It is time for the British government to display qualitative policy making, worthy of the capabilities of its own people. If it wishes to have a say in the Cyprus problem it must confront the interests of all those involved with wit and an open and contemporary political spirit.

If it wishes to assume a leading role itself, it must realise that the protagonists are the Cypriots, Turkish and Greeks alike. Otherwise it will appear as merely pretending to be interested, projecting an unworthy image, that of a monotonous extra, when in fact according to the international (but admittedly outdated) order it is a guarantor of the Cypriot state and its Constitution. A state that is, in fact, its equal as a member of the European Union. A state which it has undermined, failed to defend, and, even worse, a state whose entire population it trapped, irrespective of ethnic origin, to become its “ally”. If, then, Great Britain wants a leading role, it is imperative that it channels its political aptitude into a fresh and more credible approach.




T - 29 Feb 2008 - ENG - TELIKO

(Source: Cyprus Mail)

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