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15 April, 2024
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Turkey's two-state obsession: Cyprus' peace in peril

Cyprus at crossroads: Will Turkey's demands derail peace?



By Stavri Kalopsidiotou

Turkey's unwavering commitment, echoed by Mr. Tatar, to a two-state solution, cloaked in the veil of sovereign equality, stands today as the most formidable barrier to reigniting substantive dialogue and cripples the prospects for a comprehensive, equitable, and viable resolution to the Cyprus conundrum. Indeed, the steadfast rejection of the agreed-upon framework for a solution presents the most daunting challenge to the personal envoy of the UN Secretary-General.

Yet, even amidst widely acknowledged observations, there lies no substantive escape from the perilous realities on the ground. Confronted with the looming specter of a fresh impasse in the ongoing exploratory endeavors, we are compelled to confront the deepening chasm of entrenched divisions and the dwindling of any plausible pathway towards the liberation and reunification of Cyprus. Not for the mere adoption of the doctrine of the "last chance," but because the passage of time dims the prospects of a holistic solution, endowed with the rightful characteristics we aspire to attain. The illicit transformations unfolding in the occupied territories, poised to significantly impact matters of property, territorial sovereignty, and settler dynamics, perhaps serve as the most glaring affirmation of our apprehensions.

Henceforth, the strategic selection of initiatives and proactive measures, capable of effectively influencing Turkey's entrenched stance, without transgressing red lines, emerges as the sole trajectory for Mr. Christodoulides. It also emerges as the singular instrument for countering unacceptable conjectures surrounding the potential bridging of the divide between federalism and the "equitable international status" championed by the Turkish side as a precondition for resuming direct dialogue.

Regrettably, the President's hesitance to articulate and present a comprehensive, proactive agenda expeditiously, while awaiting Turkey's initial move, fails to muster a compelling response to such overtures. It fails to unleash the dynamics that, under specific conditions, could propel Cyprus towards substantive negotiations and a positive denouement. Conversely, the right reflexes, the impetus of decisive actions, pragmatic approaches, and unwavering defense of the negotiating acquis, conspicuously absent from his public pronouncements, represent the quintessential elements poised to recalibrate the landscape and propel us towards the realization of the coveted perspective.

This affirmation finds validation, at the very least, in the resounding endorsement of AKEL's proposals by a myriad of stakeholders, both domestically and internationally. These proposals, intricately woven into a positive agenda not limited to Euro-Turkish relations but also addressing the Turkish Cypriot community and Turkey directly, without overstepping the red lines demarcated by the Greek Cypriot side, reaffirm the ethos of resolving the Cyprus quandary through a federal solution, in accordance with pertinent UN resolutions. They unequivocally embrace the Guterres framework and the totality of convergences achieved by the conclusion of the 2017 Conference, including those pertaining to the essence of political equality and effective participation. Furthermore, they advocate for the harnessing of energy resources and the cultivation of trust between the island's two communities.

We have oft reiterated that the sands of time are rapidly running out. The messages we receive, alas, serve as a daily confirmation of this stark reality. This is precisely what we underscored in our dialogue with Mrs. Olguin. Through illustrative anecdotes and elucidation of AKEL's proposals, we shoulder our share of responsibility in propelling the process forward with comprehensive ideas aimed at imbuing it with a sense of purpose. There is no room for futile deliberations. There exists but a single path forward, one which the President of the Republic, undoubtedly, acknowledges: the practical examination of the Turkish side.

Stavri Kalopsidiotou, a lawyer-ethnologist and member of the AKEL Central Committee, is running as a candidate for the European Parliament

[This article was translated from its Greek original]

Cyprus  |  politics  |  Turkey  |  opinion  |  UN

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