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Cyprus resumed dialogue between the Greek and Turkish communities

Cyprus resumed dialogue between the Greek and Turkish communities

02.09.2015
Tags: Cyprus, the Cyprus issue, Politics, Turkey, Anastasiadis

Leaders of the Greek and Turkish communities meet 11 February the UN buffer zone dividing the island into an internationally recognized Republic of Cyprus and the self-proclaimed "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus," recognized only by Ankara.

This will be the first official meeting of the President Nikos Anastasiadis and heads the Turkish Cypriot Dervis Eroglu, which will launch a new phase of negotiations on a Cyprus settlement.

Why were suspended talks

The previous stage was stopped in the summer of 2012 on the initiative of Eroglu in protest against the accession of the Republic of Cyprus to the EU presidency on a rotational basis for a six-year period. The resumption of the inter-communal dialogue dragged on initially because of the presidential elections in Cyprus in February of 2013, and then the deep financial crisis that broke out there in March. In this regard, the parties decided to start negotiations in the autumn of last year, but until recently, due to disagreements on key aspects of the settlement, they could not agree on the text of the joint statement, which defines the basic principles for solving the Cyprus problem and the overall parameters of the process.

Only at the end of last week Anastassiadis and Eroglu announced their agreement to sign the draft document. This opened up the opportunity to continue the dialogue, which caused positive responses in the United Nations, the EU, Turkey and Greece and the leading world powers and at the same time a contradictory reaction on Cyprus itself. Some key provisions of the joint statement are borrowed from the so-called "Annan Plan" - the roadmap of the settlement, prepared with the assistance of the advisers of the former UN Secretary-General. In 2004, the plan was put to referendums in both communities and was overwhelmingly adopted by the Turkish Cypriots and equally rejected by the Greek Cypriots, who saw in it a significant imbalance in favor of the interests of the Turkish Cypriot side. It is characteristic that the "Annan plan" among the leading Greek politicians at that time was supported only by Anastasiadis, after which his career was under attack.

Principles Cyprus settlement

The joint statement reaffirms the principle stated in the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council that the Cyprus "settlement will be based on a bizonal, bicommunal federation with political equality." The United Cyprus, as a member of the United Nations and the EU, will have "a single international personality and a single sovereignty ... which comes equally from Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots." In addition, it is envisaged that Cyprus will have "a unified Cypriot citizenship governed by federal law". However, "all citizens of the united Cyprus will also be citizens of either the Greek Cypriot or the Turkish Cypriot constituent states."

According to the statement, the federal constitution will provide for the provision of "residual powers to constituent states" that will fully and unconditionally implement them within their competence without interference from the federal government. All possible disputes in this regard will be resolved in the Federal Supreme Court. At the same time, "neither side can claim power or jurisdiction over another." The application excludes the possibility of uniting a future state entirely or a part thereof with another country, and also does not allow the possibility of adopting any unilateral changes providing for the separation or withdrawal from a single state. The settlement reached as a result of negotiations should be rendered on referendums which will pass simultaneously in both communities.

To convince opponents recorded in the statement of the provisions, achieving a settlement based on them will lead to the creation of a federation with no centralized authority, and the confederation, that in the end realizes hopes the Turkish side on the solution of the Cyprus problem based on the creation of two sovereign states.

How to apply to the provisions of a settlement in Cyprus and around the world

"We believe that the statement contains the moments that will eventually lead to the dissolution of the Republic of Cyprus and the creation of a new education on the basis of the two constituent states with their sovereignty - said in an interview with Itar-Tass centrist Civic Union movement Georgios Lillikas. - In fact, the conditions for the formation of a confederation rather than federation, thus giving an opportunity for the Turkish Cypriot constituent state to step on to the final division of the island into two separate countries. "

A similar opinion is held by most of the political parties of the Republic of Cyprus, including those that form the ruling coalition. The leader of the Democratic Party, Nicholas Papadopoulos, from whom four ministers enter the cabinet, announced his readiness to break with the coalition agreement at any time, which would lead to a government crisis. "We urge the president not to sign a statement, since, unfortunately, it jeopardizes the very existence of the Republic of Cyprus," he said. Currently, the party is discussing the issue of leaving the coalition, which in the near future will be put to the vote.

In fact, Anastasiadis efforts to resume the negotiation process on the basis of an agreed statement was supported only by the two major parties of the country - the ruling Democratic gathering, representing right-wing forces, and left the opposition Progressive Party of the Working People of Cyprus (the successor to the Communist Party).

It is noteworthy that the announcement of the consent of the leaders of the divided communities to a statement on the principles of the settlement was made immediately after the visit to the island of US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland last Tuesday, as well as the ensuing series of telephone conversations that the vice- President Joseph Biden and First Deputy Secretary of State William Burns. The sharp increase in US activity in this direction and their desire to put the UN back on the second plan, which has been acting as an intermediary in the negotiations for several decades, is obvious. In an interview with the Turkish newspaper Zaman, the veteran of the diplomatic service, who took an active part in the negotiation process, admitted: "The US is not interested in issues of sovereignty in Cyprus, it is important for them to solve the problem, Cyprus is not a priority for the US and, to be honest, I do not think that I will see a settlement in my lifetime. " According to him, "Cypriot leaders also do not believe that the negotiations that are starting will lead to a solution, but they are going to them to please the United States."

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