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07 May, 2021
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Message not received, over!

All signs point to crucial Cyprus problem meeting as UN messages stick to script

Andreas Paraschos

Andreas Paraschos

The upcoming Anastasiades-Akinci meeting on Friday will be extremely important for the future of the Cyprus settlement process, and this is what FinMin Christodoulides told RIK News on Thursday: “The meeting on August 9 and more importantly the outcome of said meeting will be important in terms of the next steps and decisions that will be taken in the immediate future.” In fact, he even pointed out those who obviously are undermining this process: “Ozersay and Tatar will attempt to cause trouble with their utterly provocative statements because they do not wish that something would come out of this meeting.”

Indeed, failure of the meeting is their first goal while secondly they want to harm the process for a BBF solution, as it was defined last week by a UNSC resolution: “Urging the sides to renew their efforts to achieve an enduring, comprehensive and just settlement based on a bicommunal, bizonal federation with political equality, as set out in relevant Security Council resolutions, including paragraph 4 of its resolution 716 (1991), and stressing that the status quo is unsustainable.” As underlined by Apostolis Zoupaniotis (see Kathimerini on 28 July 2019), this paragraph adopted the meaning of political equality out of a reference in paragraph 11 in the annex of a report (8 March 1990) by Javier Pérez de Cuéllar, taken from a speech the then-UNSG had given during a round of talks between George Vassiliou and Rauf Denktash (26/2/90 – 2/3/90).

The Security Council had to go back 29 years to remind us that: “The political equality of the two communities in, and the bi-communal nature of, the federation need to be acknowledged. While political equality does not mean equal numerical participation in all federal government branches and administration, it should be reflected inter alia in various ways: […] in the effective participation of both communities in all organs and decisions of the federal Government.”

Anastasiades better have that alternative plan that would relieve Cyprus of BBF, otherwise it is dangerous to reject messages coming from the Security Council

As if president Anastasiades never got any of the messages from the report and resolution, he went on to give the impression while addressing Greek prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis that he was trying to add his mark to Tatar and Ozersay’s jabs taken against Akinci: “The Greek Cypriot side has repeatedly stated that we respect all the UN resolutions, among them all those that call for political equality. But we have made it clear that there cannot be an interpretation from the Turkish Cypriot or Turkish side on what is essentially the goal here, political equality, by changing it into political inequality and giving privileges to one community over the other such that it would be unfair to the other or the other would feel that it is overpowered by the smaller community.” The president made no reference to BBF or the Guterres framework.

Was this a coincidence? Nicholas Zannettos of asked Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesman for the Secretary-General, about what was the GenSec saying ahead of August 9. “The SG calls on all parties to redouble their efforts to restore a comprehensive negotiation, which will have to enrich the notion that the goal is to reach with determination a successful end within an anticipated time horizon. What is this horizon? A widespread belief in diplomatic circles is that this informal meeting could take place in the fall.

The Security Council, anyway, is asking for the Secretary General to submit a report on the good offices of the UN by 15 November 2019, while the two leaders are being asked to submit written reports about their own actions in support of the recent resolution. In all of this, last Monday’s statement by Mitsotakis stands out after saying that a five-party meeting, informal as well as regular “is a distant scenario far removed at this time.” So Nicos Anastasiades better have that alternative plan that would relieve Cyprus of BBF, but also the occupation, otherwise we believe it is dangerous to reject all messages coming from the Security Council.


The article was first published by Kathimerini Cyprus on 4 August 2019

Cyprus  |  politics  |  UN  |  Anastasiades  |  Akinci  |  Ozersay  |  Tatar  |  opinion  |  Paraschos  |  meeting  |  Guterres  |  federation  |  BBF  |  Turkey  |  Greece  |  Mitsotakis  |  Cuellar

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