The final partition of Cyprus must be prevented
Sunday, 8 November 2020, ‘Haravgi’ newspaper
Article by Aristos Damianou, member of the AKEL Political Bureau and Cyprus Problem Office of the C.C. of AKEL
The assumption of the leadership of the Turkish Cypriot community by Mt. Tatar through the illegal electoral procedure in the occupied territories and the partitionist positions he adheres to, highlight some truths which we had long been warning about but which ended up being completely ignored.
The first truth is that with an advocate of partition in the leadership of the Turkish Cypriots, the situation becomes even more difficult. The second truth, which everyone must now acknowledge, is that not all Turkish Cypriot leaders as not all Turkish Cypriots themselves are the same, always in relation to the “federation or partition” opposites. The third truth is that the passive contemplation of developments followed by Mr. Anastasiades, for more than three years now, has damaged – perhaps irreparably – the prospect of a solution to the Cyprus problem.
We are facing before us, as the Greek Cypriot community, the evident danger of the finalization of partition. Its prevention presupposes the rejection of any proposal for a solution outside the agreed framework which provides for a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation. The unacceptable positions of Mr. Tatar and Turkey either for a two-state solution, or for a confederation and therefore a disguised two-state solution, or for “new ideas”, an “outside of the box” or “out of the mold” solution to the Cyprus problem, must be rejected resolutely and unequivocally.
If there are (and indeed there are) political forces within the Greek Cypriot community that are flirting with such scenarios, this is dangerous. If however these scenarios come back in Mr. Anastasiades’ mind, in addition to being dangerous, this would also be catastrophic. We therefore need steadfastness on positions and the assertion of a solution within the agreed framework of the United Nations, as well as no regressions, experimentations and serving of any expediencies.
At the same time, the preparation for the waging of a dialogue must proceed from declarations being made to practical deeds. It is not enough just to verbally reiterate your readiness for a continuation of the negotiations from where they had remained at Crans Montana. The readiness of the President of the Republic needs to be demonstrated in a convincing manner, which implies the adoption in practice of the acquis of the talks, the convergences that have been agreed so far and of the joint announcements. Questioning, for example, the right of the Turkish Cypriots to participate effectively left us exposed to the UN. The same occurred with the speculation/debate around the supposed existence of two Guterres documents, one 30th June and 4th July 2017 – not to mention the departure of Mr. Anastasiades from the Mont Peléran conference, when the distance (between the two sides at the talks) surrounding the territorial issue was 0.5%.
All this, if it isn’t already late, must belong to the past because they harmed the procedure and provided an unnecessary alibi to Turkey, which it took full advantage of, given that it continues to engage in illegal and provocative actions, without paying any substantial cost.
Preparation for a dialogue also entails enlightening the people, the citizens, without any glorification, but also without demonising Federation. In truth, when did the Anastasiades-DISY government make any effort to explain to the people what federation actually means and what partition and a two states solution would mean? Therefore, the preparation, as the Secretary General of the UN himself requests too, implies the energetic promotion of a public rhetoric and discourse that should highlight the positives of the solution of the Cyprus problem, liberation and reunification and not the relentless scaremongering from morning till night, nor the flirtation with nationalism.
A lot has happened since the two consecutive breakdowns of the talks in 2017, in Geneva and Crans Montana. Developments which unfortunately have ended up facilitating and serving partition. Our duty to prevent the unacceptable Turkish plans and assert a correct and viable solution, otherwise we will be left with partition, which is not static but which is becoming day by day more onerous and burdensome, as Turkey in a cynical way shows us on the issue of Famagusta too.
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
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