Former UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has offered a proposal to resolve the long-standing conflict between the Greek Cypriot Republic of Cyprus and the 'Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC)'. In an opinion piece written by the former UK FM on Politico, Straw highlighted the problematic relationship between Cyprus and Russia and the historical issues plaguing the island nation.
Straw pointed out that Cyprus, with its small population of around 800,000, has been a significant foreign direct investor in Russia due to the extensive use of offshore accounts in Cyprus to avoid taxation and scrutiny. However, this financial connection led to an economic crisis in Cyprus in 2012-2013, requiring EU intervention.
As one of Cyprus' "guarantor nations," along with Turkey and Greece, the UK has a role to play in breaking the deadlock and pushing for a two-state solution.
Furthermore, Cyprus faced a scandal involving the sale of EU passports to foreign citizens under the Cyprus Investment Program, with the majority of beneficiaries being Russians.
The island of Cyprus has remained divided since 1974, with the Greek Cypriot Republic in the south and the 'TRNC' in the north. Straw argued that the failure of EU-brokered negotiations in 2004 has left the EU presiding over a frozen conflict, with Greek Cypriots gaining significant advantages, particularly in their relations with Russia.
Straw's proposed solution is for the international community to commit to a two-state solution if negotiations for a united island continue to fail. He cited examples like the peaceful dissolution of Czechoslovakia and the Balkan states' separation from Yugoslavia as instances where splitting states was the best option.
As one of Cyprus' "guarantor nations," along with Turkey and Greece, the UK has a role to play in breaking the deadlock and pushing for a two-state solution. While Britain alone cannot impose this solution, it can help initiate the process and gain international support for this approach to unfreeze the Cyprus conflict.
Read the full op-ed piece here
[Information from Politico.eu]