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There is hope if Mr. Anastasiades takes the initiatives AKEL proposes – Article by AKEL Political Bureau member Aristos Damianou


3 October 2021, ‘Haravgi’ newspaper

For the past four years, the Cyprus problem has entered a very dangerous phase, which has been its solution slipping further and further away, making the danger of permanent partition more visible than ever before.

From the very beginning we had very low expectations from the recent trilateral meeting held in New York, bearing in mind that Turkey and Mr. Tatar are adamant on the unacceptable position for a two state solution.

Despite President Anastasiades’ unprincipled policy, we continued to explain that with the proposal AKEL had submitted to the President on the Cyprus problem we could convince them that we were ready for a resumption of substantive negotiations from where they had left off at Crans Montana, using natural gas as an incentive and without going beyond any of the Greek Cypriot side’s “red lines”.

Unfortunately, we were not listened to and Mr. Anastasiades went to New York unprepared to confront the unacceptable Turkish positions in a way that would have led either to a resumption of the negotiating procedure or to the Turkish side being left exposed for its unacceptable stance. With contradictions and damaging our side’s credibility, Mr. Anastasiades insisted on ideas that annul the body of work agreed in negotiations and reiterated his proposal for a return to the 1960 Constitution, which is contrary to the agreed framework for a solution to the Cyprus problem.

It is truly inconceivable for someone to argue that at a time when the Turkish side is proposing a two state solution, it would be possible to return to the structures of the 1960 unitary state, which the Turkish side does not recognise. The very fact that the President is insisting on this proposal raises questions as to what his real intentions are, which obviously also include the further forging of a front with the ultra-right.

The passive passage of time and unproductive approaches, which do not give an impetus to the resumption of meaningful and substantive negotiations, facilitate Turkey’s deepening of partitionist fait accompli and permit third parties to submit dangerous, supposedly “bridging” proposals that approach the Turkish side’s positions.

If Mr. Anastasiades stops pretending that he does not understand this and takes the initiatives we propose, then hope and prospects will not be lost for good.

If not, he and the ruling DISY party, which provides full cover for the President’s policies, they will again find themselves facing very grave historical responsibilities.


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