19 April, 2004
Greek Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis underlined on Sunday that “there are no last chances”, when asked about next week-end’s separate referenda on the Annan peace plan for Cyprus and political scenarios should one or both sides vote ‘no’.
“In life there are no last chances ... the need to deal with a solution for Cyprus will turn up again,” he was quoted as saying in an interview published in the Sunday edition of the “Kathimerini” daily.
“I personally do not believe in last chances. Life continues; life always offers opportunities. I believe, not immediately, of course, on the next day following a potential rejection of the Annan plan, but with the flow of developments, the need to face a solution for Cyprus will again turn up, because a solution to Cyprus’ political problem will facilitate all; as well as the European Union, the United Nations and Turkey itself,” Molyviatis stressed.
He also reminded that even in case of a “no” vote by both or one of the two communities on the island republic – Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots – all of Cyprus will still accede to the European Union on May 1. “With the only difference being that implementation of the (Union’s) acquis communautaire will be suspended in the northern part.”
Asked about the prospect of European recognition of the island’s division following a potential rejection of the plan, the Greek Foreign Minister said recognition by the 25 EU members (new and old) is out of the question.
In reference to press reports citing possible recognition of the Turkish-occupied breakaway state by the former Soviet republic of Azerbaijan, Molyviatis said he is unsure as to “how states that may recognize the northern part of Cyprus as an independent country will manage their relations with the European Union; but I believe it will be rather difficult; there will be a problem in their relations with the EU”.
In reply to a question on US Secretary of State Colin Powell’s recent comments concerning a possible “no” vote, he said the message out of Washington and the EU, for that matter, is that economic support may be forthcoming.
Molyviatis also reiterated the Greek government’s intention to continue a policy of normalization in Greek-Turkish affairs, noting that a Greek negotiator will head to Ankara this week to recommence exploratory talks focusing on the issue of the Aegean continental shelf’s delineation.
Moreover, he forecast that the Erdogan government also wants to extricate Greek-Turkish relations from the Cyprus issue.
Source: Athens News Agency