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Tuesday, 19 February 2008


19th Feb 2008

So Mr Papadopoulos has been defeated in the first round of the Cyprus Presidential elections. Mr Kasoulides of the centre right DISY and the progressive Communist Mr Chrisrofias remain. The second round of the election will take place on Sunday.

Encouragingly both candidates are talking about working to find a settlement to the Cyprus problem. Indeed the reason Tassos Papadopoulos came a cropper was probably his relentless separatism and strong opposition to any resolution to the division of Cyprus. When the Cypriots in the south and the north of the island voted on the Annan Plan in 2004 it was very clear that President Papadopoulos was against not only the Annan Plan as it stood, but any form of settlement.

Hopefully things are changing. If the new President of the Cyprus Republic genuinely wants to resolve the Cyprus problem, the international community will take notice. It is not really in anyone's interest to hang on to the status quo. The EU certainly wants a solution. One of the main reasons the reconciliation efforts which led to the Annan Plan proved so successful was the support of the United States throughout out the process.

It was not a good move on the part of the south of Cyprus to throw away that good will. Fortunately the Republic of Cyprus now has an opportunity to regain its standing. May whoever wins gain the elusive prize.

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