CHRISTOFIAS'S BARRICADE''¦

27/11/2016



The new tactics of the Greek Cypriot side postpones a solution in Cyprus to eternity…
The Greek Cypriot Parliament in Southern Cyprus has unanimously approved the declaration that “emphasises guarantees and guarantor rights over Cyprus cannot be accepted”. This “expected” development has melted hopes of a solution on the island like snow under the sun.
The decision of the Greek Cypriot Parliament shows that it has unilaterally rejected the guarantorship agreements signed with Turkey, Greece and Britain in 1960. In other words, the Greek Cypriots no longer recognise the guarantorship agreement.
 
Before taking up what lies behind the scenes of this decision, which is supported by Athens, there is benefit to be gained from taking a look at recent developments.
 
Greek Cypriots: “Guarantorship is unthinkable”
The most crucial part of the declaration published by the Greek Cypriot Parliament is the expression “Guarantees and guarantorship in the untied Republic of Cyprus which is a member state of the EU are unthinkable”. This expression means the changing, or more properly “denial” by the Greek Cypriot of the entire political logic and legal grounding which exists in Cyprus.
Turks: “They are taking different routes out of negotiations”
Upon this development the Parliament of the Republic held an emergency session and took a decision, the introduction to which emphasises “Peace, stability and cooperation which are to the benefit of all parties in Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean region can be secured through a just and lasting agreement”.
 
The decision states that while Northern Cyprus and the UN is making constructive efforts over Cyprus, Southern Cyprus is acting in opposition to the spirit of negotiations and instead of focusing on efforts for a solution is taking a different route and has taken the decision in question in order to avoid intensified negotiations.
The decision taken by Northern Cyprus underlines that the uncompromising and anti-solution attitude taken by the Greek Cypriot side during the peace referenda of 2004 has been observed the whole world and states that “the taking of unilateral and illegitimate decisions on fundamental parameters of the solution instead of focusing on an agreement which will provide a just and lasting solution” has been met with regret.
 
The decision also draws attention to Southern Cyprus is “exploiting its EU membership over the issue of property and thereby is in an attempt to make unilateral gains through means devoid of good will”.
 
Moving from these observations, the Northern Cyprus Parliament has evaluated the decision taken by Southern Cyprus on guarantorship as “an initiative devoid of good will which aims at removing the grounds and meaning of comprehensive solution negotiations”.
 
The following clause in the decision of the Turkish side merits attention: “(the House) invites international actors to view the situation by drawing attention to the clear display of which side in Cyprus wants a solution, given the unacceptable approach of the Greek Cypriot side despite the positive attitude of the Cypriot Turkish side which has been long ongoing”.
According to what is stated in its decision, Northern Cyprus continues to support solution efforts, the entire process and the efforts of the Secretary-General of the UN. There is a further important emphasis in the decision text, which reads:
“(The House) views it as a historical duty to emphasise that it sees the effective and active guarantorship of the Republic of Turkey, which has selflessly supported the people of the Turkish Cypriot people and has secured an atmosphere of peace and security on the island, as vital and most fundamental to any solution agreement to be settled in Cyprus.”
 
As declared in the decision, Northern Cyprus believes that a new partnership between the north and the south in Cyprus which may begin as a result of comprehensive solution negotiations may only be possible with the inclusion of all parties to the 1960 Guarantorship and Alliance Agreements. It also underlines that this fact “will not change under any circumstances and that the Turkish Cypriot side will not allow for it to change”.
 
Northern Cyprus identifies the decision taken by the Greek Cypriots as contrary to the spirit of the negotiations and invites Southern Cyprus to respect the principle of equality as well as to avoid such actions which may endanger the negotiations process.
 
Why did the Greek Cypriots Take this Decision?
The decision that was taken by the Greek Cypriot Parliament was inevitable due to a combination of many factors. There are many forces at play behind the scenes.
The Church Factor
The tough stance of the Greek Cypriot Orthodox Church is well known. Archdiocese Hrisostomos the Second opposes every kind of peace and solution initiative in Cyprus with his anti-Turkey stance and his devotion to sacred texts. The church which he yields as a major source of political power directly intervenes in political parties and the public opinion in Southern Cyprus and puts pressure on decision making mechanisms. The Church holds that there is “one state and one people” on the island. It wants Turks to be banished from the island. Hrisostomos manipulates the Cyprus issue in order to increase his hold on politics and the society.
 
The Christofias Factor…
 
The negotiating process has brought increased pressure on the Greek Cypriot leader Christofias. Christofias who was elected into office after the term of the staunchly anti-solution Papadopoulos was up, at first supported the negotiations. However, this approach soon led to him becoming weaker in internal politics. Christofias is trying to avoid becoming a “political corps” through “pragmatism” which greatly characterises his political line. Christofias needed to take a new step in order to protect his political power and to maintain the coalition government.
The Coalition Factor
The tripartite coalition in Southern Cyprus is going through a troubled time. AKEL’s partners DIKO and EDEK follow a nationalist course and hold that Christofias has compromised to the Turks. Similarly, the Greek Cypriot Speaker of Parliament Marios Karoyan holds Christofias under pressure. Two ministers from EDEK have quit the government and EDEK has left the coalition. DIKO is also giving signals that it may leave AKEL. While Papadopoulos’ party DIKO has remained in the coalition, it took Karoyan’s insistence. According to the Greek Cypriot press, Christofias made a series of concessions in order to be able to keep DIKO in the coalition. Among them are more influence for DIKO over the Cyprus issue and a requirement that Christofias always seek DIKO’s approval.
 
The Greek Cypriot National Council Factor
The Greek Cypriot National Council is the most powerful institution in Southern Cyprus and runs like a government.
 Leaders in Southern Cyprus have to get the Council’s approval in order to pursue their plans. Christofias cannot take any steps without the full support of the Greek Cypriot National Council. The Council has not been supportive of Christofias’ policy. In order to get support from the Council, to which he reports every step for approval, Christofias needed to act.
Greece Factor
There are two major gains Athens has made from the recent developments. The first is that the economic crisis and the crisis in confidence which ensued after the false statistics and misinformation given to the EU might fall off the top of the list of issues. Secondly, Athens wants Southern Cyprus to make full use of the “enfant terrible” identity in the EU, which it took over from Greece. Though Athens officially supports Turkey’s membership to the EU, it does not truly want this. Athens sees it in line with its interests that Turkey is left outside of the EU, due to Cyprus, without it having to take any diplomatic risks.
As it cannot make any moves against Turkey over the Aegean due to the difficulties of its present condition, Athens hopes that the decision taken by the Greek Cypriot Parliament will cause new tensions in EU-Turkey relations. Athens also manipulates Southern Cyprus over the guarantorship issue which it itself cannot directly oppose. Indeed Greece’s ambassador to Southern Cyprus Vasilis Papayoannu has recently said “Greece’s thesis that guarantees are obsolete maintains its validity”.
 
The EU Factor
Southern Cyprus is not happy with the presence of the UN in the negotiations process. For this reason it wants the EU, of which it is a member, to play a more effective role. On the other hand, though the EU accepts contributing to the solution of the Cyprus problem, it is not willing to replace the role being played by the UN. Southern Cyprus is following a fine grained policy at this point. The European Union acquis communautaire covers the entirety of rules and institutions set out in fundamental EU treaties and in supplementary legal sources such as directives, decisions and guidelines. Thus the London and Zurich agreements are not part of the EU acquis. Therefore the latest decision by the Greek Cypriot Parliament is in keeping with the EU acquis and means the implementation and extension of the acquis in the island. Thus the Greek Cypriots are forcing the EU to become more effective using the acquis.
The Britain Factor
For Southern Cyprus, the issue of guarantees does not only entail Turkey. Southern Cyprus is also experiencing difficulties with another guarantor state: Britain. The UK is the greatest supporter of the latest negotiating process between Talat and Christofias. The pressure London is bearing down to this end forces Southern Cyprus into a tight corner from time to time. Most recently, London offered a tripartite summit between Britain, Greece and Turkey in order to break the barrier the Greek Cypriots have placed on the route to peace. Indeed, a permanent solution arising from a meeting of five, after the inclusion of Northern and Southern Cyprus to the group of states holding the tripartite meeting is among the possibilities. With its latest decision, Southern Cyprus is attempting to make such efforts stillborn.
The UN Factor
The UN has not forgotten the heavy loss of prestige it took as a result of the actions of Greek Cypriots in the 2004 referenda and the “Annan Peace Plan”. For this reason, it is acting with higher concentration for a solution this time round. Alexander Downer, the Special Advisor to the UN Secretary General on Cyprus has demanded to inform the UN Security Council in recent weeks following the completion of the new round of talks between Presidents Talat and Christofias in March.
Downer’s idea is intended at the Greek Cypriots leaving the negotiations midway. The information to be given by Downer to the UN Security Council would have exposed the negative attitude of the Greek Cypriot side. However, the declaration by Southern Cyprus that it does not recognise the fundamental parameters of the island may result in Downer postponing his imitative and may negatively affect the fundamental basis of his report.
The Diplomacy Factor
As solution negotiations on the island approach an end, Southern Cyprus is feeling increased pressure. One of the main reasons for this is the increased approval around the world of the efforts and support of Northern Cyprus for a settlement.On the other hand that the active approach and the new offers made by the Cypriot Turkish side are attracting increased attention and the increase in international contact, such as the meeting of Talat with the Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini indicate that the traditional “isolation” policy of the Greek Cypriots is beginning to collapse. Southern Cyprus thinks that the diplomacy traffic will increase and that this will increase the pressure on it for a solution in 2010. Also Southern Cyprus is uncomfortable at Turkey becoming more influential in its region. Another indication of this is that Turkey has secured for three years one of the six posts of deputy general secretary for the Union for the Mediterranean. Southern Cyprus, which wants to be more influential in the Mediterranean could not prevent this from happening, despite all its efforts.
The Negotiations Factor A critical threshold has been arrived at in the negotiations. The sides have attained over 90 per cent agreement in the negotiations up until now. However, the issues over which agreement has not been attained include the fundamental reasons of the conflict. In the new round of comprehensive and intensified talks to be held between leaders from now on, the Greek Cypriots do not have the opportunity to secure further concessions. However, they do not want to lose their present status with a bad surprise during the talks between leaders. The decision by the Greek Cypriot Parliament has endangered the remainder of the negotiating process. Should the Turkish side leave the negotiating table upon this decision by the Greek Cypriots, the risk will be removed as far as the Greek Cypriot party is concerned. That it overrides the fundamental parameters which exist on the island means that there will be no further grounds or framework for negotiating.
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What did Mehmet Ali Talat Say?
“Guarantees are an international agreement. The Greek Cypriot Parliament cannot in any way affect an international agreement through a decision. That is one side of the issue but what is important is the question of intention. What is intended here, as the negotiations are concerned, is provocation. We have discussed this matter. The sides have revealed their positions on this issue yet this decision was taken with the knowledge that it impacts on the negotiations. Furthermore, they know about the sensitivity of the Turkish Cypriot side over the guarantees.”
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“Turkey’s interventions in Cyprus as a guarantor state in the framework of Zurich and London treaties are legal. Those really responsible are the accused Greek Officers. The states signing the Zurich Agreement; Greece, Turkey and the United Kingdom have promised, as guarantor states, that they will secure and protect the Republic of Cyprus from unifying with any other state and from disintegrating. On the 15th of July 1974, General Ioannidis has carried out the coup d’état with the involvement of the commander of the Greek troops on the island General Yorgacis and 102 Greek officers. After the trampling of the constitution of Cyprus, they have placed their accomplice Nicos Sampson in power. The Turks have only intervened in the island on the 20th of July 1974 after this situation was created.”
The decision of the Athens Appeals Court dated 21st of March 1979 and numbered 2658/79
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THE DECISION REGARDING THE DECISION BY THE GREEK CYPRIOT PARLIAMENT DAMAGING THE SOLUTION PROCESS
 
The Assembly of the Republic of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus;
Emphasising that the atmosphere of peace, stability and cooperation to the benefit of all parties in Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean may be secured by a just and permanent solution agreement;
Noting that despite all the constructive initiatives of the Cypriot Turkish side and contributing efforts of the Un General Secretary to the negotiations, the Greek Cypriot side is acting in opposition to the spirit of the negotiations and instead of focusing on a comprehensive solution is taking different routes and is avoiding intensified negotiations;
Regretful of the taking of unilateral and illegitimate decisions on fundamental parameters of the solution instead of focusing on an agreement which will provide a just and lasting solution by the Greek Cypriot party whose uncompromising attitude has been revealed to the whole world with the 2004 referenda;
Taking into account that over the issue of property rights is exploiting its EU membership and is in an attempt to make unilateral gains through means devoid of goodwill; Unanimously;
1.Evaluates the decision taken by the Southern Cyprus Greek Cypriot Administration assembly of Representatives to be an initiative devoid of goodwill and aimed at removing the meaning and grounds of comprehensive solution negotiations;
 
2.Invites international actors to view the situation by drawing attention to the clear display of which side in Cyprus wants a solution, given the unacceptable approach of the Greek Cypriot side despite the positive attitude of the Cypriot Turkish side which has been long ongoing;
3.Reemphasises that it is ready to accept a just and permanent agreement which protects the legitimate rights and interests of the Cypriot Turkish people;
4.Reaffirms the determination of the Cypriot Turkish side to continue its constructive attitude as elected representatives of the Cypriot Turkish people; supports the efforts of the UN Secretary General;
5.Views it as a historical duty to emphasise, with regard to Guarantee and Alliance Agreements, that it sees the effective and active guarantorship of the Republic of Turkey, which has selflessly supported the people of the Turkish Cypriot people and has secured an atmosphere of peace and security on the island, as vital and most fundamental to any solution agreement to be settled in Cyprus;
6.Emphasises the fact that the new partnership system which will be founded on Cyprus through comprehensive solution talks can only come about through the participation of all parties to the 1960 Guarantee and Partnership Agreements cannot be changed under any situation or circumstances and that the Cypriot Turkish side will never allow as such;
 
7.Invites the Greek Cypriot side to respect equality with the Cypriot Turkish people and to show necessary flexibility as to allow for the continuation of negotiations and to refrain from such actions outside of negotiations which may endanger the process, pointing out that both the recent decision taken by the Greek Cypriot side on guarantees and many other negative acts carried out through manipulation of EU membership, especially regarding the issue of property rights, is contrary to the spirit of negotiations:
 
8.Reemphasises that the Cypriot Turkish people will not allow the tolerance of the Turkish Cypriot side to the Greek Cypriot side’s negative approach which delays a solution and damages the negotiations;
 
9.Invites the international community to lift the sanctions imposed on the Cypriot Turkish people without any legal basis, in line with the call of the Secretary General of the UN.
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 Guarantee Agreement
The Republic of Cyprus of the one part, and Greece, Turkey and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland of the other part,
1. Considering that the recognition and maintenance of the independence, territorial integrity and security of the Republic of Cyprus, as established and regulated by the Basic Articles of its Constitution, are in their common interest,
 
2. Desiring to co-operate to ensure respect for the state of affairs created by that Constitution,
Have agreed as follows:
 
Article 1. The Republic of Cyprus undertakes to ensure the maintenance of its independence, territorial integrity and security, as well as respect for its Constitution. It undertakes not to participate, in whole or in part, in any political or economic union with any State whatsoever. It accordingly declares prohibited any activity likely to promote, directly or indirectly, either union with any other State or partition of the Island.
Article 2. Greece, Turkey and the United Kingdom, taking note of the undertakings of the Republic of Cyprus set out in Article I of the present Treaty, recognise and guarantee the independence, territorial integrity and security of the Republic of Cyprus, and also the state of affairs established by the Basic Articles of its Constitution. Greece, Turkey and the United Kingdom likewise undertake to prohibit, so far as concerns them, any activity aimed at promoting, directly or indirectly, either union of Cyprus with any other State or partition of the Island.
 
Article 3. In the event of a breach of the provisions of the present Treaty, Greece, Turkey and the United Kingdom undertake to consult together with respect to the representations or measures necessary to ensure observance of those provisions. In so far as common or concerted action may not prove possible, each the three guaranteeing Powers reserves the right to take action with the sole aim of re-establishing the state of affairs created by the present Treaty.
Article 4. The present Treaty shall enter into force on the date of signature. The High Contracting Parties shall proceed as soon as possible to the registration of the present Treaty with the Secretariat of the United Nations in accordance with Article 102 of the Charter of the United Nations.
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