14 May, 2004
US State Department coordinator for Cyprus Thomas Weston on Wednesday expressed hope that Cyprus' EU membership will give the Greek Cypriots the sense of security that they felt UN secretary general Kofi Annan's plan did not.
Addressing a banquet hosted by Cyprus' Ambassador to the US, Euripides Evriviades, Weston expressed his disappointment over developments in Cyprus, but stressed that the fundamental aim of all the efforts had been Cyprus' accession to the EU, which became a reality on the 1st of May.
Referring to the result of the 24 April referenda and the rejection of the Annan Plan by the Greek Cypriots, Weston said that the negative result was due to the concerns of the Greek Cypriots on security issues, which he said he shared.
At the same time, he expressed hope that the accession to the EU will give the people the feeling of security so as to find the strength to move forward.
He also said that the aim to find a just and viable solution to the Cyprus problem has become very difficult following recent developments, stressing at the same time that the central direction should not be lost and the main weapon in this effort is Cyprus' unconditional accession to the EU.
Weston thanked overseas Greek Americans for their efforts in bringing the Cyprus problem to the top of the US administration's foreign affairs agenda.
The banquet marked the commencement of the 15th annual International Coordinating Committee Justice for Cyprus (PSEKA)/World
Council of Hellenes (SAE) Cyprus conference, which called for a common line outlining the changes required to the Annan Plan for a solution to the Cyprus problem.
The delegates also stressed the need to make governments aware of the fact that the Greek Cypriots were not against a settlement, and of the fact that they said ''no'' to the Annan Plan because it did not address their concerns.
Source: Athens News Agency