TIME IS RUNNING OUT IN CYPRUS

27/11/2016



The works to paw the way of a new demarche in the Cyprus issue still continue; since time is running out is Cyprus. The problems within the EU, which stems from the Cyprus issue, have become no postponable. The international support that is given to the acting plan announced by Turkey on January 2006 and the expectations of the USA, UK and also EU urge the Greek side to submit its views and suggestions about when and how a new demarche in the Cyprus issue can start. The Greek administration seems to pursue a policy of inactivity and deferment by presenting the refusal of the referendum in April 2004 as a victory and not to produce any thesis for solving the issue. The official statement made by the Greek authorities indicates that the Cypriote Greeks and Greek administration favor a solution of a federation with two regions and two societies; but no demarche has been made yet to this end. Ankara does not recognize the Government of Cyprus and advocates a comprehensive solution in the Cyprus issue. Turkey wants the resumption of the talks and asks Annan to renew his efforts in order conceive the Greeks on this issue. It also thinks that the isolation policy against the North should be ended and the UN should make the necessary steps to this aim. The suggestions made by Turkey to Annan include the revival of the Annan Plan, the realization of the EU commitments for the enforcement of the trade and financial aid regulations, the access of the Cypriote Turks to the word trade through the removal of the restrictions against the TRNC’s ports and airports. Turkey’s suggestions are assessed by the Greek administration as the tactical demarches and they are immediately refused without a deep consideration. The Greek side evaluates the Turkish suggestions as Turkey’s effort to escape from the obligations towards the EU. Papadopoulos, who is under the pressure of the Turkey’s demarches and the criticisms of other countries, builds his policy on the claim that Turkey has to enforce the Harmony Protocol within 6 months. It also appears that he tries to conceive Austria, who is currently the EU Council President, through the contacts he made there. The Greek diplomacy aims to shift the pressures on the Greek side to the Turkey by creating a crisis of the EU origin. To this aim, the Greeks made their well-known statements. The Cypriote Greek President Papadopoulos and the spokesman of the Greek government stated that they retain their veto right against Turkey. They also stated loudly their intention to veto the continuation of Turkey’s membership talks, a familiar statement for both Turkey and the EU members. What is changed since the membership of the Greeks to the EU in 2004 is the views of the EU partners on the Cyprus issue. As a matter of fact, the British Foreign Minister Straw claimed in the House of Commons that the Greek government seeks to make progress in the UN process by using its EU membership. The conservative MP John Maples said that: “at that time, according to most of us, Papadopoulos negotiated without goodwill and from the beginning he did not intent to approve the 4th, 5th, 6th or whatsoever plan of Annan. We think that his strategy was aiming to be member of the EU firstly and then to pressurize the Cypriote Turks by pressurizing Turkey. The tragedy was our allowance to him”. Time is running out in Cyprus. On the other side, the US Secretary of State Rice states that the international community is about to return to the Annan Plan. The British Foreign Minister announces that the delay of the negotiations and the unresolved Cyprus issue will bring de facto recognition. The President of the European Council Parliamentary Assembly Rene Van Der Linden highlights that the Greek side should be pushed to behave more willingly in bringing solution to the Cyprus issue. The Undersecretary of the US Department of State Jefry Berger stresses that the removal of the isolations against the Cypriote Turks will be a considerable step in producing a solution. In this period during which the pressures for the resumption of the negotiations have increased, the attitude the Greek side will display during the meeting of Annan and Papadopoulos that will take place on February 28 in Paris will determine the next developments. It is assessed that during this meeting, the propositions of the Turkish side will be dealt and the goodwill of both sides will be considered. It is stated that the demands the Greek administration will make for the resumption of the negotiations include: ruling out the deadline and arbitration and bringing the solution agreed by the sides to the referendum as well as the immediate appointment of the Special Envoy on Cyprus, the involvement of the EU to the negotiations in addition to the UN and the taking part in the process of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council. Moreover, Papadopoulos emphasizes that the Annan Plan will not in any way be dealt in the Paris meeting. As it is stated in an article in the Elefterotipia Newspaper in Athens in February 12, 2006, “what is expected from the Cypriote Greek leadership after the referendum that took place in April 24, 2004 is certainly not a united Cyrus on the base of a federation with two sides, where there is an absolute legal equality between two societies. The aim is nothing else than the establishment of a unitary administration and the domination of the Cypriote Greeks to the entire Island”.
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