Preconditions for a solution of the Cyprus Problem
The Cyprus problem is the main problem facing the Cypriot people as a whole. The future, peace, progress and prosperity of our homeland and people will depend to a great extent on its correct solution. On the contrary, the non-solution of the Cyprus problem or the imposition of partitionist settlements harbours enormous dangers for the very existence of the Republic of Cyprus and our people’s future.
As forty years are being completed since the Turkish invasion and occupation of almost 40% of its territory, the Cyprus problem remains unsolved. The successive attempts to find a solution all these years always ended in a deadlock, in the final analysis due to the intransigence of Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side with the backing of imperialism. As a result, the occupational faits accomplis are increasingly being consolidated.
The question arising is what should we do, given that Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot leadership continue to insist on the existence of two states on the island, which will have a loose union with confederal elements, whilst those forces and circles overtly or indirectly not rejecting a solution of partition are growing in the Greek Cypriot side.
AKEL continues to believe that a solution based on the principles of International Law and on the principles upon which the EU is founded, within the framework set out by the UN resolutions and the High-Level Agreements is in the interests of the Cypriot people as a whole.
With the passage of time without action fundamental principles and objectives of the Greek Cypriot side are gradually undermined: the situation on the ground changes, resulting in the prospects for substantial territorial adjustments eroding gradually. The Greek Cypriot properties in the occupied areas are being usurped in a way that will make their restoration to their lawful owners increasingly difficult or sold-off at humiliating prices to the occupation regime, through the so-called Compensation Committee that operates with the blessings of the European Court of Human Rights. The numbers of settlers from Turkey v are rising continuously and they already constitute a majority in the occupied territories, a fact which further complicates even more the efforts for their withdrawal. With regards the Turkish Cypriot community, neither does the fruitless passage of time suit it as well, precisely because its very identity is being lost through the continuous alteration of the demographic structure in the occupied areas.
The dire economic situation in Cyprus makes the need for a solution even more urgent, because it would give a significant impetus to the economy which is sinking continuously without prospects of a substantial recovery in the foreseeable future due to the Troika’s policies. At the same time, AKEL will never accept the difficult economic situation in Cyprus being turned into a lever for exerting pressure or blackmail by certain forces and circles in order to impose an unacceptable solution to the Cyprus problem.
The discovery of hydrocarbons in the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Republic of Cyprus constitutes for both communities a new serious incentive for a solution. Whilst on the one hand the Turkish Cypriots will also be able to enjoy the benefits that will arise only through a solution, the Greek Cypriots on the other need a stable and secure environment that will permit the unobstructed utilization of this valuable asset.
It is for all the above reasons that, despite the increasing difficulties, AKEL considers that there is only one way forward, namely the search and achievement of a solution based on the principles of International Law and the principles upon which the EU is founded; a solution that will liberate and reunite our country and people, within the framework of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation with political equality as set out in the relevant UN Security Council resolutions. Any other option, in whatever mask/guise it appears, will ultimately lead to the final permanent partition. Such a “solution” will not only constitute a sell-out of the territories of the Republic of Cyprus, but would be the beginning of new sufferings and woes for our homeland and people.
Therefore AKEL’s insistence on its Congress positions on the principles, basis and content of the solution of the Cyprus problem is imperative. Within this context, the Party has elaborated coherent positions on each and every aspect and chapter of the Cyprus problem.
With regards the internal aspects of the Cyprus problem, AKEL insists on a bi-zonal bi-communal federal solution with political equality as set out in the UN Security Council resolutions. The solution must ensure the unity of the country, of its economy and people and human rights for all Cypriots. AKEL insists in particular on the functionality of the solution, the safeguarding of the unity of the country, its institutions, economy and its people because these are the preconditions for the waging of common class, political and social struggles of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriot workers in the future. We insist on the guaranteeing the refugees right to return.
Regarding the international aspect of the Cyprus problem, AKEL insists on removing the occupation, on the demilitarization of the Republic of Cyprus outside and far from any military alliances, the liberation from the colonisation in the occupied areas and the abolition of any rights of intervention. European Cyprus does not need guarantees and guarantor powers.
The solution we are seeking must of course ensure a single sovereignty, a single international personality and a single citizenship, the respect of human rights and everything that is set out in our Congress positions. Differences are not observed on these questions, but life itself has shown repeatedly that it is not enough. A minimum degree of consensus is required regarding the content of the concept of bi-zonal, bi-communal federation with political equality as defined in the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.
Federation means two levels of power, namely a central government and the regions, each with its own organs of power and consequent allocation of competences between them. Bi-zonality means that there are two regions in the federation and each community will administer one region. Bi-communality means that both communities will have effective participation in the federal bodies and in decisions. Political equality, as defined by the UN Security Council which the National Council accepts (Note: an advisory body to the given President of the Republic on the Cyprus problem with the participation of all the parliamentary parties and former Presidents) although not meaning equal numerical participation in all the federal bodies, but means, inter alia, the effective participation and identical powers and competences of the two federated units.
Our people in their overwhelming majority are ready to ratify in a referendum and through their free will, a fair under the circumstances, functional and viable solution of the Cyprus problem. Confidence-building measures that will not replace the solution and will not constitute a counter-incentive for it can contribute towards creating the right climate. Within this context, the comprehensive proposal submitted by our side for several years for the return of Famagusta to its lawful inhabitants under UN administration in exchange for the opening of the port of Famagusta under EU aegis and the opening of chapters in the EU-Turkey negotiations could make a significant contribution.
Even more necessary is sincerity, clarity and unity on the part of the state and the political forces with regards the content of a feasible solution. Only then will the people put their trust in the prospects of the solution for real security, progress, prosperity and development to the benefit of both communities and the people as a whole.
The so-called British sovereign bases mutilate the territorial integrity of Cyprus. They are a foreign body and a remnant of colonialism. AKEL will continue to call for the abolition of the Bases. With the solution of the Cyprus problem and the establishment of a united federal republic, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, united and unanimous, must struggle together for the liberation of Cyprus from the British Bases. For as long as the bases remain in Cyprus, the British must respect the Republic of Cyprus and the obligations they have assumed with respect to the Bases. They must respect the rights of the Cypriot citizens who reside or own property in the territory of the Bases.
Furthermore, it is important to specify the causes and culprits of the Cyprus tragedy, as the Findings of the “File of Cyprus” of the House of Representatives highlight. The Finding of the House will contribute towards excluding similar policies and behaviours in the future that can lead to a new tragedy.
Intervention of Georgos Koukoumas, member of the C.C. of AKEL and the International Relations Department, at the Hearing “Palestine: What’s Next?” organized by GUE/NGL2015-07-1
- Feb26 2015-02-26
- Nov13 2014-11-13