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The British Bases.

Propose and discuss specific solutions to aspects of the Cyprus Problem

The British Bases.

Postby Muzzy70 » Fri Jun 06, 2008 1:00 pm

Ok let's suggest that the future security arrangements of a settlement are on the following basis. Turkish and Greek troops remain on the island as per the 1959 London - Zurich Accords on a 650/950 ratio. Greek troops remain in the southern 'consituent' state and Turkish troops in the north. All troops, possibly, are to be withdrawn following Turkey's accession to the EU. Turkey acts as a guarantor state for the north and Greece for the south. There is thus no reason as to why Britain should remain a guarantor state in the event of a settlement. The ties of history (and I know this will annoy some people) and ethnicity of both Cypriot communities dictate that they have far more of a right to a Turkish and Greek security presence on the island than Britain ever does. The presence of 650 Turkish troops is a security measure, however symbolic, to allay the potential fears of the Turkish Cypriot community.

The British presence in Cyprus has nothing at all to do with internal security but strategy and as such the validity of the bases continuing to exist in a newly established Cypriot state ceases to exist, period. Both leaders should make it quite clear to the UK government that the bases should go in the event of a settlement. Does anybody know if this is being discussed by the technical committees ? Could someone also remind me what the provisions were for the future of the bases in the Annan Plan ?

A potential sticking point of a possible British withdrawal, for the Turkish Cypriot side, would be that the territory of the bases would be a part of the Greek Cypriot constituent state, thus providing such a state with more territory. This could be taken into account, understandably, by the Turkish Cypriots during negotiations about the eventual size of the northern constituent state. Could be problematic but again I can see a compromise formula here.
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Postby CopperLine » Fri Jun 06, 2008 1:10 pm

Muzzy 70,
I'd keep it simple : 'All troops out'. Or, borrowing the Indian independence movements slogan, 'Quit Now'
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Postby Muzzy70 » Fri Jun 06, 2008 1:15 pm

CopperLine wrote:Muzzy 70,
I'd keep it simple : 'All troops out'. Or, borrowing the Indian independence movements slogan, 'Quit Now'


But it is simle dear Copper. My suggestion is rational and feasible. What's your problem with it ?
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Postby Oracle » Fri Jun 06, 2008 1:19 pm

Muzy I think this belongs in Andros' "Myths" thread ....

Here's where your whole premise collapses

Muzzy 70 wrote:All troops, possibly, are to be withdrawn following Turkey's accession to the EU.


I am 100% certain such a fate for Turkey accessing the EU is not in the offing.

On that basis we are quite happy to carry on negotiating what is best for the RoC and not what suits some "community" pleading recognition now for "ethnic" ties .... :roll:

Go, tell it on the mountain,
Over the hills and everywhere
Go, tell it on the mountain,
The Turks are leaving town!

:lol:
Last edited by Oracle on Fri Jun 06, 2008 1:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby kurupetos » Fri Jun 06, 2008 1:20 pm

How about a small-scale professional joint TC/GC army? No foreign armies involved. :wink:
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Postby Paphitis » Fri Jun 06, 2008 1:20 pm

By Dr William Mallinson

THE DISCREDITED Annan plan's chief PR guru, Mr Hannay, admits at the end of his personal anti-analytical book that "we [the British] had not covered ourselves with glory", perhaps as an insurance policy against accusations of bias. Nevertheless, in his nine-page potted "history" section, he omits such vital facts as the Foreign Office's successful efforts to divide Greece and Turkey in 1955; secret collusion with Turkey; the British role in the 1963 riots that segregated the Cypriot community; British and American agreement not to prevent a Turkish invasion in 1963/64; and the Foreign Office's admission that the Treaty of Guarantee was contrary to the UN Charter. New documents have now been uncovered which will surely embarrass those who aim to keep Cyprus as a geostrategic hostage and out of mainstream EU security structures. The documents show that what has in the past been dismissed as irresponsible can now be considered as responsible fact.

The invasion

First is the vehemently denied British government's foreknowledge of the Turkish invasion of 1974. As an entrée, let us recall what British Foreign Minister Callaghan said to Kissinger on August 14, 1974, after the Turkish army had "broken out": "Well, I was just thinking - I think in military terms, obviously the Turks will carry on until they have got this line that they have figured out on the map, and cynically, let's hope they get it quickly... You are not going to act, we are not going to act unilaterally and the UN is going to get out of the way."

On its own, this quote displays a combination of cynicism and subservience to the US, but not definite foreknowledge. However, further evidence shows that Callaghan did have foreknowledge about Turkish plans before both the first invasion and the later "break out": on July 19, 1974, a senior Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) official informed Callaghan's Private Secretary that the Joint Intelligence Committee was expecting a Turkish invasion within the next few days. It occurred the next day. Interestingly, the French Embassy had unsuccessfully tried to obtain information about Cyprus from the FCO, and the French Foreign Minister, Sauvagnargues, even complained to Callaghan. While the Turks were breaking the ceasefire of July 22, during the frenetic Anglo-Greek-Turkish "negotiations" in Geneva, Callaghan received a top secret letter on August 10 from the British Defence Staff, stating: "The Turkish army is looking for an excuse to continue operations. The next likely objective is to increase the size of their area to take in the entire North East of Cyprus, bounded by a line from five miles east of Morphou, through the southern suburbs of Nicosia and along the old Famagusta road to Famagusta." The same day, the British ambassador to the UN in Geneva wrote in a top secret telegram: "The Foreign Secretary [Callaghan] is most concerned at hard line attitude being adopted by Turkish delegation at Geneva and the strong indications that they may soon attempt a major break-out from the area at present under their control."

The false denial

How does the fact that Callaghan knew about the Turkish plans, and was even worried about them, compare with what he told a Parliamentary Select Committee on Cyprus in early 1976? To the question "You recognised, did you not, that there was to be an immediate invasion by the Turks at that time and that that was imminent?" Callaghan replied: "No"! And when asked whether there was a real danger of a further advance, he replied: "No, I do not think that was indicated at all." Callaghan was aided and abetted at the interrogation by three senior FCO officials, acting as minders.

The British territories on Cyprus

Another fascinating revelation, only hinted at until now, was that Britain wished to give up its territories on Cyprus (the "Sovereign Base Areas") and the retained sites dotted throughout the island. As early as 1964, a secret FO paper stated that the bases and retained sites depended in large measure on Greek Cypriot co-operation, and that a "Guantanamo position" was out of the question. The paper added: "Our sovereign rights in the SBAs and treaty rights in Republic territory will be considered increasingly irksome by the Greek Cypriots and will be regarded as increasingly anachronistic by world public opinion". In 1970, the FCO was admitting that the bases were hostages to Cypriot good will, while in 1974 it was stating that the bases were an embarrassment. More significantly, in 1975, a secret paper stated that a solution would be difficult as long as Britain retained a physical presence in the bases, and that British strategic interests in Cyprus were now minimal. Extraordinarily, the paper admitted: "A
Although our own preferred policy is for a complete British military withdrawal from Cyprus, we recognise that we cannot do so at present, given the global importance of working with the Americans." In this connexion, a senior US official even assured the British that the US would be able to finance the bases, secretly if necessary.


Turkey

What of the British government's geostrategic view of Greece and Turkey? A secret paper explains: "Turkey must be regarded as more important to Western strategic interests than Greece and that, if risks must be run, they should be risks of further straining Greek rather than Turkish relations with the West." This revealing phrase also suggests that Britain does not consider NATO members Greece and Turkey "to be part of the West"!

The Aegean

When it comes to the "strategic interests" of the US, Britain, Russia, Israel, Greece and Turkey, Cyprus is certainly a contentious topic. Putative EU interests are usually blocked by British or surrogate British disagreement whenever Greek-inspired EU initiatives on Cyprus are taken. The other major connected problem is the Aegean continental shelf around Greek islands and airspace. For the record, the State Department has written to this author stating that the US does not recognise Greece's ten-mile air limit. As regards the continental shelf and Greek islands, however, an FCO official reported in 1975 that "...reference [of the issue] to the International Court is still seen as something rather irrelevant and that the Turks hankered firmly, however unrealistically, for a bilateral solution. This is not surprising, as they can presumably not have very much confidence in winning their case at the Court on its merits alone."

Conclusions

The above is but a small tip of a rather grimy iceberg of documents recently released. They enable us to evaluate the whole affair with a fair degree of confidence. As regards problems with the truth, Callaghan is in illustrious company: the German Defence Minister Franz Joseph Strauß (the Spiegel Affair), the French Defence Minister Charles Hernu (the bombing of Greenpeace's Rainbow Warrior), Margaret Thatcher (the sinking of the General Belgrano), and Donald Rumsfeld and Tony Blair (the attack on, and occupation of, Iraq). Callaghan's name simply makes the list a little longer. Callaghan was nevertheless more diplomatic in public about the Turks than the likes of Pangalos. He told Kissinger on the telephone, however, that the Turks were too jingoistic and close to Hitler for his liking!

Guicciardini wrote that the past illuminates the future, that things have always been the same and that things return with different colours. Then is now: the whole abortive Annan plan should be seen in the context of the above revelations, indeed as a continuation of them. Britain is the US' butler vis-Ã -vis its anachronistic territories on Cyprus and therefore puts offensive Turkish desires above defensive Greek ones. Since the political demise of the last of the Brito-European Mohicans, Edward Heath, in 1974, Britain has preferred to sell its sovereignty to the US rather than share it with the EU. Cyprus is a gauge.

Dr William Mallinson, a former British diplomat, teaches British history, culture and literature at the Ionian University, Corfu and is the author of Cyprus, A Modern History, I. B. Tauris, London and New York 2005, and Papazissis (in Greek) Athens, 2005Copyright ©


Cyprus is a member of the EU. There is absolutely no need for Guarantor Treaties from anyone as this is just a licence for the guarantor powers interfering in Cypriot affairs, at will.

Also, there is probably zero chance of the British bases leaving Cyprus as they are vital strategic assets so close to Israel. As the article above implies, the British could have considered the closure of the SBAs in the early 60s, but due to instability in the Middle East (Iraq War, Iran etc), the bases are vital in serving US and Israeli interests. I believe that the British may one day hand back some of the territory to the RoC, but it will never withdraw completely.

There are much stronger forces at play here than what you are able to comprehend. The SBAs do not just serve British interests but the interests of at least a dozen other countries.
Last edited by Paphitis on Fri Jun 06, 2008 1:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Paphitis » Fri Jun 06, 2008 1:23 pm

Sorry Double post
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Postby kurupetos » Fri Jun 06, 2008 1:27 pm

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Postby roseandchan » Fri Jun 06, 2008 1:37 pm

hi in the uk we have the same problems with american bases, the people have protested for years about the usa with its bases and weapons we don't need them but they still stay.i think they have a so many years lease on the land which is a little different to the british bases in cyprus.
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Postby Muzzy70 » Fri Jun 06, 2008 1:48 pm

Oh dear, oh dear , oh dear. Yet again we have ultra defensive Greek Cypriots failing to engage in any meaningful and constructive conversation about what is a compromise formula. No myths, just realism.

They are blind and sleepwalking into yet another 'disaster' for their community.
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