Dr. Kypros Chrysostomides Discusses the Restart of the Negotiations in Cyprus
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Dr. Kypros Chrysostomides Discusses the Restart of the Negotiations in Cyprus
The present situation regarding the Cyprus problem brings to mind significant older efforts to restart negotiations under almost identical circumstances, after they had been put on hold for some time.
NICOSIA, Cyprus, August 8, 2019 (Newswire.com) - The following is an open letter from Dr. Kypros Chrysostomides, managing partner of Chrysostomides & Co.
The present situation regarding the Cyprus problem brings to mind significant older efforts to restart negotiations under almost identical circumstances, after they had been put on hold for some time. It is reminiscent of the situation in December of 2003, and the letter sent at that time by the then President of the Republic, Mr. Tassos Papadopoulos to the Secretary-General of the UN. This letter was sent, despite the fact that Denktash had rejected the 3rd Annan Plan at Τhe Hague and the then UN Secretary-General had come to record his intransigence.
That plan was improved on some important points during the negotiations that took place in February and March 2003 in Cyprus. That moment, after The Hague, was the best opportunity to seek further improvements for a fairer solution by putting pressure on the other side, since Denktash’s position had been exposed. This was not made possible, despite the encouragement by many at the time. The end result was the dispatch of the aforementioned letter to the Secretary General for the resumption of the negotiations. This led to the meeting that took place in New York in January 2004. The result was an arbitration process, strict time schedules and a referendum this time on the 5th Annan Plan revision, in its final Burgenstock form. Now we have a letter by President Anastasiades, with which he asks for a resumption of negotiations for the umpteenth time. The majority of political forces appear to be in agreement with such a move on the basis of the Crans Montana negotiations and the Guterres framework.
Some elements of the international situation seem to have changed significantly. What remains the same is the Turkish intransigence and our wish for a solution and reunification of our country, as a result of which the occupation will be terminated and Cyprus will be reunited. It is our right as much as it is our duty, all Cypriots to claim a common united home. A home that is modern, functional and democratic, within the wider EU family, of which we had the fortune to become members in 2004.
A great many Greek-Cypriots and Turkish-Cypriots wish exactly that, a peaceful solution that will secure our peaceful living together, avoiding war and conflict. We have suffered enough. However, we need guarantees to secure the longevity of a solution and the true independence of our state.
Unfortunately, it appears that any effort to reach a solution will be doomed to fail once more, because of the extended illegal demands made by Turkey (and, on its orders, by the Turkish-Cypriots) and the dangers to the Greek-Cypriot side in case it continues to make further concessions. Such further concessions will probably turn the Greek-Cypriot side into a puppet ordered around according to the wishes of the occupation power and will continue to erode the independence of the Republic of Cyprus. These demands are actually put forward now as “preconditions”. The usual policy of Turkey is to raise further demands continuously; it is never satisfied with anything that it has already gained. It appears that occupying Turkey may maintain the division that it has imposed forcibly, violently and illegally, but its goal at the back of its mind is a different one.
Turkey seeks to bring our island under its complete control and this is obvious from its positions at the negotiation table, as well as from the latest developments with regard to Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ), with Varosha and with other vital matters, along with the fact that the occupation is maintained. The indications that we have are crystal clear: Turkish intentions are easy to identify and they do not serve the interests of Cyprus and of the Cypriots, but solely the illegal interests of Turkey that are forcibly imposed on the Turkish-Cypriot (TC) community. Turkey wishes to impose them also on the Greek-Cypriot (GC) side through the TC community, which it will continue to control politically and economically, via a “federation” of their own design.
Turkey is frustrated, because it has not until now been able to dismantle the Republic of Cyprus which continues to be an official member of the UN and the EU. The Republic of Cyprus is a sovereign state over all of its territory despite the fact that it has been violently mutilated and even though the occupying power considers it as “defunct”. At the same time, the secession regime has been internationally condemned and 45 years later it continues to remain without any international recognition.
It is actually this very fact, i.e. that the independence and state sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus is maintained, that constitutes the main wall of defense against the ravaging schemes of autocratic Turkey. It is our duty to safeguard it at all cost. And our concessions should primarily not put at risk that element of continuation of state sovereignty; on the contrary, it should reinforce and safeguard it. Turkey strives for the opposite, namely, to discontinue the state of Cyprus. For example, upon the insistence of Turkey and upon the directions of Mr. Hanney, the express reference to the continuation of the state of the Republic of Cyprus was excluded (which happened in the case of Bosnia-Herzegovina) and we were limited to the “virgin birth” and to a reference that “the Federation is a member of the UN and the EU”. It was not even mentioned that “it will continue as a member of the UN and the EU”.
We are the ones who should first of all put up barriers, fortify and secure its continuation. This should, without fail, be a basic objective and a guide of all our actions and decisions within the framework of negotiations for a possible solution.
Occupying Turkey seeks several alternative goals leading to the same result, i.e. full and complete control of the whole of Cyprus.
Over the years and as the negotiations continue, occupying Turkey hopes that, at some point, today’s situation will be recognized and its subordinate administration in the north of Cyprus will be upgraded, despite the fact that the illegal occupation continues. It even aims at the dissolution or even the derecognition of the Republic of Cyprus, something that despite its efforts it has not happened during all the 45 years of occupation. Although its failure infuriates it, Turkey does not seem to be bothered by the fact that time passes: indeed, it has the luxury of time and it can wait. It controls fully (either by force or otherwise) the seccesionist entity it has created in the northern part of the Republic of Cyprus, an entity which is nothing more than “a subordinate administration of the occupying force”.
It is clear that meanwhile, Turkey is trying to gradually lift the illegality of the invasion and its continued occupation in any way it can, using the different phases of the negotiations and pursuing significant concessions from our side. These concessions erode our defense positions while Turkey continues unobstructed to use or threaten further violence against a militarily weak Republic of Cyprus, e.g. with regard to its EEZ or, recently, with regard to Famagusta. Turkey invokes “an international law of its own” against the principles that are accepted by the entire international community which are embedded mainly in the United Nations’ Charter, in international multilateral conventions and decisions of the UN bodies, such as the Security Council. Alas, Turkey knows full well how difficult it is, except in some cases, to secure in general the compulsory enforcement of international law according to a resolution of the Security Council under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter that indeed was never taken in the case of Cyprus.
On the other hand, Turkey, in continuing negotiations upon its own conditions for the solution of the Cyprus problem, whenever it suits its goals, expects that the federation solution will eradicate the illegality both of the invasion and of the unilateral declaration of a “state” in the occupied area, and that it will thus avoid the effects of the relevant Security Council resolutions 541 and 550. In other words, it aims for “legitimization” through “federalisation”. In this manner, it believes that it will be able to secure in the future a legal secession of a “constituent state” of a federation, if federation is eventually achieved.
In case the solution which might result does not satisfy Turkey’s basic aim to control the Turkish-Cypriot federated state absolutely, and through it, the entirety of the federal structure, it believes that then it will be able to persuade or force Turkish Cypriots to leave their positions in the federal bodies, thus fulfilling its intent to bring about the collapse and dissolution of the Federation. Clearly, it is necessary to always secure the continuation of the state and its single sovereignty under any circumstances.