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12° Nicosia,
17 January, 2019
 
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The critical presidential question

A closer look at the latest presidential press conference that left many with a smug on their face

Andreas Paraschos

Andreas Paraschos

If one of the former presidents of the Republic of Cyprus had come back from the negotiations holding in his hands an agreement based on the outline of the UN Secretary General, which upheld those issues pointed out in the Guterres framework, I gather he would have become the greatest politician of all.

Such an accomplishment, reuniting a country without spilling blood that was otherwise divided for half a century, would have created a European model state in the underbelly of the Middle East.

Just as a reminder, through Antonio Guterres’ framework, there was agreement on 1) ending guarantees and intervention rights on day one, 2) cutting down significantly the number of occupying troops with provisions that could lead to their full withdrawal, and 3) territorial adjustments that would satisfy reasonable expectations on the Greek Cypriot side.

As for 4) the effective participation of the Turkish Cypriot side in power sharing, this would need to be discussed further in relation to the one positive vote requirement. Specifically, when and under which circumstances and in which Bodies should this be applied while at the same time having provisions for mechanisms that would resolve dead end issues under dispute.

But instead of having such a great achievement, for which President Nicos Anastasiades would get credit, he chose just one day before a crucial dinner at Crans Montana, so this would have been 5 June 2017, to sound out Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on the solution of two states.

I’m certain that those people, who understand rational-thinking people would never spend billions like this, had a smuggish smile upon hearing the argument

Later on, information was pouring in as the mass media were learning of a change of position by Anastasiades in managing the Cyprus problem. Between the first and second Sunday rounds during presidential elections, he had separate meetings with party leaders from the middle of the political spectrum, where he spoke with them on a two-state solution.

According to analyst Apostolis Zoupanitis, ”in exactly one year (since Crans Montana), Anastasiades has put forth ‘privately’ to at least a thousand people his view that a velvet divorce might be preferable and in the best interest of Cypriot Hellenism” either by way of partition or through a loose confederation.

Kathimerini Cyprus wrote on Wednesday 24 October 2018 that the President outlined his positions on a confederation solution to opposition Diko party leader Nicholas Papadopoulos. He did the same with Angela Merkel and Federica Mogherini. The conversation had continued with Mr. Cavusoglu through September all the while such information was never refuted by the Presidential Palace.

The question on everyone’s mind, meaning those who seriously follow the developments on the Cyprus issue, was whether the Greek Cypriot side was trying to derail the UN process. At that time, when push was coming to shove, the President spoke of a decentralised Federation which he would explain, as he would later announce, on 6 November 2018 during a press conference.

Last Tuesday, not only did the President not mention what he had told foreign and Cypriot politicians and diplomats, but he explained that the specific problem in this case had to do with the provision of the positive vote by Turkish Cypriots. While this is actually underlined in the Guterres framework as an issue that “must be discussed further,” Nicos Anastasiades elevated the issue into a solid veto, notwithstanding the effective participation of Turkish Cypriots as it has been agreed in UNSG reports since 8/3/1990.

In fact, in order to convince the Greek Cypriot public that we stand to lose the money from hydrocarbons due to the Turkish Cypriot veto, he posed the question “how would Turkish Cypriots vote if the creation of the EastMed pipeline came before the Cabinet?”

I’m certain that those people, who understand rational-thinking people would never throw billions to such depths of several kilometres, had a smuggish smile upon hearing such an argument.

The rest are waiting for the President, as he stated on Tuesday, “to convince party leaders through a non-dogmatic and constructive dialogue to jointly reach common positions that will allow us to get involved in a new round of talks which will lead us to a solution acceptable by both communities.”

So, fools, get ready for another 70-80 meetings with the UN until the darn term is over.

TAGS
Cyprus  |  Anastasiades  |  Paraschos  |  Turkey  |  Greek  |  Turkish  |  Cypriot  |  Papadopoulos  |  Cavusoglu  |  Mogherini  |  Merkel  |  federation  |  confederation

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