GREEK CYPRUS UNWILLING FOR NEW START OF NEGOTIATIONS

Prof. Dr. Ata ATUN

 
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 14 Temmuz 2007 Saat : 5:54


 

The Greek Cypriot administration has displayed many times since 2004 its unwillingness for a new start of negotiations based on the Annan plan.

The request of the former UN secretary-general from the Greek side for a written submission of their proposals concerning some alte-rations in the plan has still not yet been responded to. In addition to this, they have declared their unwillingness on many occasions for a new start.

Foreign Minister Yiorgo Iacovou has hinted many times their re-fusal to negotiate a new plan by blocking available paths forward with requests that are impossible to implement, like the participation of the permanent members of the UN Security Council and the European Union in the discussions on “the return of Varosha, the retreat of troops located on the cease-fire line and disarmament of the island” without any compromises.
It is clear that in any attempt at a solution for the troubled island before the Greek Cyprus presidential elections in February 2008 will not receive a positive response from the Greek side.

Basically, it doesn’t mean that Greek Cypriot President Papado-poulos’ policy will be abandoned if he is not elected or if his presidential term comes to an end. His administration will carry on with their general policy on the Cyprus issue, as it was unanimously agreed in the Greek Cypriot National Council consisting of all the Greek Cypriot political parties.

On the other side, to keep strong cards in hand and to build up the pressure on Turkey for further compromises on the island, it is possible that additional artificial blockades from the Greek Cypriots may take place during Turkey’s accession talks with the EU. The Greek accord will also use the opportunity to hold talks by accusing the Turkish side of irreconcilability.

But unless the international community takes measures to lift the embargo on the Turkish Cypriots and treats them as politically equal, there will be no incentive for the Greek Cypriots to seek a solution.
One of the factors that will strongly affect the progress in the Cy-prus problem is the attitude of Greece as well. The psychology of the Turkish, Turkish Cypriot, Greek and Greek Cypriot people — and their support or opposition to their own administration’s policy — will be quite influential on the shaping of progress on the Cyprus problem, after the presidential elections in southern Cyprus in February 2008.

With regards to Turkish Cypriot public opinion, their hopes and enthusiasm fired up by the opening of the borders in 2003 were wiped out by the disappointment of the 2004 referendum.

The non-realization of the promises given to remove the isolation of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC), as well as a sub-sequent lifting of the embargo, have led to mistrust of the EU. Whilst their economic prosperity is actually on the increase, the biggest prob-lem facing Turkish Cypriots nowadays is the vagueness of their future caused by the political uncertainty.

The Greek Cypriot people are rapidly moving away from the idea of living together with the Turkish Cypriots. Thus the outcome of the public opinion polls taken in Greek Cyprus in 2006 and 2007 revealed the fact that 65 percent of those aged between 18 and 24 and the ma-jority of those below 45 no longer wish to live alongside the Turkish Cypriots.

By the time this attitude spreads to both sides of the divided isl-and, this will lead to a confederal solution rather than federal.

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