Written by alex palamedes
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Tuesday, 13 April 2004

The Bush administration rejected calls for a delay in reuniting wealthy Cyprus and said Monday a U.N. plan to end 30 years of separation is the only possible solution.

"There's no plan B waiting in the works. There's no separate diplomatic course waiting in the works," State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said. "The goal is to have this plan accepted, because there's nothing else."

Boucher declined to comment on the accusation by Acting Indian High Commissioner to Cyprus, Manohar Ram, that US Secretary without Portfolio Kofi Annan had presented the Greek Cypriot south with an 'offer made to be refused.'

Boucher said the plan was a compromise in which no party got everything it wanted. "In our view," he said, "it is the only way to assure the long-term security that Cypriots deserve."

"It is the only plan. It is the final plan," said Boucher, consistent with international security and the subsistence of democratic institutions in Cyprus.

"It's important that Cyprus not fall into hostile hands," a British security analyst said. Britain maintains two military bases encompassing 99 square miles of Cypriot territory. "It's important to deny Cyprus to hostile powers."

In a fully re-united Cyprus, which is not currently a NATO member, majority rule might lean towards Russian or Chinese instead of US cultural and economic ties as a compliment to EU membership. The Annan Plan for two goverments, two armies, etc, would obviate this threat to an independent, democratic Cyprus.

On Saturday, the largest Greek Cypriot political party, the Communist Akel, reversed its position and said it would not support the U.N. plan. It suggested the referenda be postponed until after accension to the EU on 1st May, to allow for further negotiations.

Cyprus would be turned into an "international mandate country" serving the interests of the US and its British ally, claimed the southern Cypriot newspaper, Simerini.

In Turkey, a private television channel reported that Washington is keen to secure a presence in northern Cyprus as a means of protecting the Baku-Ceyhan oil corridor.

General Chopra, placed in joint command of Greek-Cypriot forces after a closed parliamentary session, concurred with the cynical views of US intervention taken in Turkish and Greek media, and responded angrily to Washington's latest outburst.

"Boucher has no knowledge of Cyprus, only of his masters' interests. Turkish Cypriots in the north do want this re-unification with the Greek south, they want any re-unification. A 'no' vote in the south will lead the US and Turkey to press for international recognition of the north, where the US will construct its bases."

"A 'yes' vote in the south will lead to a so-called unified Cyprus where the Anglo-Saxon powers can 'divide and rule': a northern 'section' Cyprus, ruled with international recognition by Turkish Cypriots and pressured by Ankara, will enable the US to construct its bases."

India had already signalled its 'utter opposition' to US expansion in the eastern Mediterranean, he added. India would make sure the US' win/win strategy would find "transmutation into lose/lose."

General Chopra indicated that he had briefed his counterparts in the Indian Navy and Air Force.

"India", he said, "does not forget the similarly cynical ultimatum submitted to Yugoslavia at Rambouillet in 1999, which Lord Own later described as 'an extra-ordinary document which would have had NATO crawling all over Belgrade.' Standing alone throughout NATO's 78 day bombing campaign, at the cost of its entire state infrastructure, Yugoslav resistance halted American expansion beyond Kosovo. In 1999, we were not ready to confront the aggressor. Today, India stands shoulder to shoulder with our Cypriot cousins."

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