Plans for a united Cyprus

In his opinion article "Creating peace in Cyprus" (Nov. 30), Robert Rotberg called upon both communities in Cyprus to "set aside the tortured history of their antagonism" and observed that "the time is ripe for conceptual and political breakthroughs" to resolve the Cyprus problem

Both of these statements have merit, but, regrettably, Mr. Rotberg goes on to argue that a "creative" outcome of negotiations should involve acceptance of the "physical and geopolitical realities of the moment," i.e., the status quo of a forcibly divided island, which has been declared as "unacceptable" by the international community, including the United States, and support for Turkey's demand that Cyprus not enter the European Union until Turkey is also admitted. Underlying Rotberg's prescription is the pessimistic assumption that Greek and Turkish Cypriots cannot again live peacefully together.

Rotberg ignores the fact that the governments of the Republic of Cyprus long ago agreed to the creation of new political arrangements in order to help achieve lasting peace and reconciliation between the two communities in Cyprus.

Turkey must cooperate in resolving the Cyprus problem. And while some creativity can be helpful in achieving breakthroughs, it should not be embraced at the expense of the rule of law, binding Security Council Resolutions, and existing agreements, which Rotberg seems to totally disregard.

Distorting the history of Cyprus, and using spurious terminology to promote the partitionist designs, suggest an agenda that condones international aggression at the expense of principled international conduct, rather than a contribution to peacemaking.

Miltos Miltiadou Washington Press counselor Embassy of Cyprus

Mars Lander's engineering

The article "Reminder from Mars: This is rocket science" (Dec. 8) gives us all a better understanding of what did not happen, and rightfully confirms that when dealing with such sophisticated technology it's a very tough job. What continues to bother me is the inability to distinguish between the underlying science (our understanding of the physical principles of getting to Mars - which have long been known) and the "fringe of the art" engineering which designs and operates the technological systems that have never before existed.

We must give our technological teams (engineers and scientists) a great deal of credit for even dreaming of the Mars Lander. And we must go the additional mile to provide them the complete funding to give them a solid chance to succeed.

Rich Hart Watsonville, Calif.

Anti-NRA lobbying cartoon

I was offended by your editorial cartoon of Dec. 2. If the intent was to make political commentary about the practice of lobbying, then the logical target would be the most respected one: the American Association of Retired Persons, which was recently reported the most effective lobby in Washington.

I can only assume that, in a manner unbecoming the to Monitor, your cartoonist wished to impugn the reputation of the National Rifle Association (NRA) - and thereby its members - and imply that they are lacking principles and simply buy and sell congressmen.

I can assure you that members like myself have the highest principles and regard for the laws of the land. The fact that we value the Second Amendment more highly than your cartoonist should not give him license to pass judgment.

Your founding principle is "To injure no man,..." By insulting the NRA, you have injured me and 3 million others!

Clyde Spencer Sonora, Calif.

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(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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