Cyprus uncertainty persists
Uncertainty continues regarding the fate of Cyprus peacemaking after the July 1 takeover of the European Union term presidency by Greek Cyprus.
The position of the Turkish side is rather clear. Both Turkish Cypriots and Ankara are stressing that if there is no settlement on the island by July 1 and the EU term presidency is not assumed by a federal Cyprus governed by Greek and Turkish Cypriot partners for the six-month period, then Ankara will not engage in any way with the term presidency. Turkish Cypriots will no longer sit at talks, begging Greek Cypriots for a settlement, and will move on to Plan B.
Ankara and Turkish Cyprus expect the United Nations secretary general to either take the steps that will carry Cyprus peacemaking to a settlement-oriented multilateral conference, or declare in all clarity that the goodwill mission that has been continuing since 1968 simply can not succeed.
Greece is buried in its economic hell and cannot be bothered with Cyprus for now. The Greek Cypriot side, on the other hand wants the Cyprus talks to somehow and at some level continue after the July 1 deadline and thus preserve this current platform where it can pretend as if it is negotiating a settlement.
The international community – that is the Americans and the British – does not want a “crisis atmosphere” and would prefer to preserve the image that talks are still continuing, but at a decreased speed which would pick up momentum after the February presidential vote in the Greek Cypriot side.
As Demetris Christofias publicly acknowledged last week, many international game setters would prefer the communist incumbent to be reelected in the February polls, rather than the nationalist-socialist challenger Iannakis Omiriu, or the arrogant Nicos Anastasiades. Thus, those countries which believe in sustaining talks between the July 1 start of the term presidency and the presidential election in February, will probably seek to assist the reelection of Christofias at a low, technical level.
So far so good. Everyone has their own strategy. What’s difficult to understand is the pressure piling up on the Turkish Cypriot side to walk an extra mile without getting anything or being offered the prospect that it might eventually receive anything in return. Stressing that Christofias cannot compromise for many reasons, particularly the belief that he no longer has any political clout, Turkish Cypriots are asked to compromise on “cross voting.” This involves accepting the proposal that the two communities would have a ten percent influence in the outcome of the presidential vote in the other side. But why should Turkish Cypriots compromise if even a multilateral conference is not on the horizon and the Greek Cypriot side will not reciprocate?
Well, the Turkish Cypriot side should do whatever possible and outgun the Greek Cypriots and force them to talks. Which talks? The one which have been continuing for the past four years, with Turkish Cyprus offering dossiers of proposals every few months and Greek Cyprus acting as if they are sitting sincerely at the talks?
Well, it is being said that “everyone” is aware of Greek Cypriot tactical maneuvers, but because they are the government, an EU member, a UN member, Russia’s ally and China’s friend, the bill has to be paid by Turks. For how long? July 1 will be an important date, hopefully!