American Hellenic Institute


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Op-Ed by AHI President Published in the National Herald
April 7, 2004—No.24 (202) 785-8430


WASHINGTON, DC—The following Op-Ed article by AHI President Gene Rossides appeared in The National Herald on April 3, 2004, page 11.

The Annan Plan and the Rule of Law

by Gene Rossides

The guiding principle for all the parties to the Annan Plan negotiations for a Cyprus settlement should be the Rule of Law.

The interested parties are not only the immediate ones, the Greek and Turkish Cypriots, the guarantor powers, Britain, Greece and Turkey, and the United Nations, but also the United States which caused the Cyprus tragedy of 1974 by the illegal actions of Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

What does it mean to stand by the rule of law?

It means what President Dwight D. Eisenhower stated during the 1956 Suez Crisis when Britain, France and Israel committed aggression in late October by invading Egypt to gain control of the Suez Canal. In his memorable October 31, 1956 television and radio report to the nation on the Middle East crisis he condemned that invasion. President Eisenhower said:

"We believe these actions to have been taken in error, for we do not accept the use of force as a wise or proper instrument for the settlement of international disputes.

The present fact nonetheless seems clear. The action taken can scarcely be reconciled with the principles and purposes of the United Nations to which we have all subscribed. And beyond this we are forced to doubt that resort to force and war will for long serve the permanent interests of the attacking nations.

My fellow citizens, as I review the march of world events in recent years I am ever more deeply convinced that the United Nations represents the soundest hope for peace in the world. For this very reason I believe that the processes of the United Nations need further to be developed and strengthened.

I speak particularly of increasing its ability to secure justice under international law.

In all the recent troubles in the Middle East there have, indeed, been injustices suffered by all nations involved. But I do not believe that another instrument of injustice—war—is a remedy for these wrongs.

There can be no peace without law. And there can be no law if we were to invoke one code of international conduct for those who oppose us and another for our friends. (Emphasis added)

The peace we seek and need means much more than mere absence of war. It means the acceptance of law and the fostering of justice in all the world.

To our principles guiding us in this quest we must stand fast. In so doing we can honor the hopes of all men for a world in which peace will truly and justly reign."

Eisenhower succeeded in reversing the aggression without firing a shot. He used diplomatic and economic pressure and the force of his own stature. Eisenhower would not have tolerated Turkey's aggression one minute.

The rule of law also means "that aggression cannot and will not pay" as set forth by President George H.W. Bush and President Mikhail Gorbachev in Helsinki on September 9, 1990 regarding Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. Their historic joint statement read in part:

"We are united in the belief that Iraq's aggression must not be tolerated. No peaceful international order is possible if larger states can devour their smaller neighbors.

We are determined to see this aggression end, and if the current steps fail to end it, we are prepared to consider additional ones consistent with the U.N. Charter. We must demonstrate beyond any doubt that aggression cannot and will not pay."

When are we going to apply the Eisenhower Doctrine to Turkey?

When are we going to apply the Bush/Gorbachev Doctrine to Turkey?

The failure to apply the rule of law to Turkey has seriously damaged U.S. interests and cost the U.S. taxpayer over 50 billion dollars these past decades.

The Annan Plan needs to be changed to reflect the Eisenhower and Bush/Gorbachev Doctrines in the interests of all the parties.

Turkey must be treated as any other aggressor nation would be treated. Applying the rule of law to the Annan Plan to make it democratic, workable, financially viable and just will serve the cause of peace and security in the region.

The Greek Cypriots and Greece should stand by the rule of law as embodied in the Eisenhower and Bush/Gorbachev Doctrines. There is no downside for them to say "NO" to an Annan Plan which does not have the changes needed to make it democratic, workable, financially viable and just. On the contrary, standing for principle would enhance their prestige.

Lord Hanney, the former British envoy to Cyprus, said that not reaching a resolution by May 1 was " not the end of the world" and that negotiations are available after May 1, 2004, when Cyprus becomes a full member of the EU.

The Annan Plan as presently written reduces the UN to an errand boy for Britain, the prime drafter of the Annan Plan, in support of the aggressor Turkey. Britain, which caused the original Cyprus problem in the 1950's by its divide and rule policy, has substantial economic interests in Turkey and many Englishmen have illegal title to Greek Cypriot properties in northern occupied Cyprus.

The U.S. acquiescence to Britain's actions makes a mockery of our efforts to build democratic institutions in Iraq, the rest of the Middle East and elsewhere.

The U.S. should follow the historic precedents set by Eisenhower in the Suez Crisis of 1956 and by Bush 41 regarding the Iraq aggression of 1990. The proper use of diplomatic and economic pressure on Turkey could end Turkey's aggression and occupation in short order.

President Bush, Secretary Powell and Secretary Rumsfeld should seek the views of persons other than Under Secretary of State Marc Grossman, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, Under Secretary of Defense Douglas Feith and Richard Perle, former Defense Advisory Board member, who have been the prime movers of a double standard and appeasement of Turkey on aggression and the rule of law, and who have made false and misleading statements as to Turkey's reliability and value as a strategic ally of the U.S. for their own agendas. Former Ambassadors Tom Boyatt and Monteagle Stearns could give helpful insights and advice to them based on what is best for the U.S.

Call and write the President, 202-456-1111 (the comment line), Secretary of State Colin Powell, 202-647-4000, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, 703-692-7100, your Senators and Representatives, 202-224-3121, and urge them to apply the rule of law to the Annan Plan in the interests of the U.S. You can make a difference.

For additional information, please contact Vivian Basdekis at (202) 785-8430 or at For general information about the activities of AHI, please see our Web site at