There is no written British plan for the Cyprus issue, the Foreign Minister assured in the wake of the information that has been circulating recently about a British formula for bridging the gap that separates the two sides in view of the informal five-party conference.
Speaking to Alpha, Nikos Christodoulidis admitted that there are some ideas on the part of the British and stressed that the Greek Cypriot side does not even discuss anything that goes beyond an agreed solution framework.
What goes beyond the agreed solution framework? Obviously, the British plan, according to the first assessments of the Foreign Minister and some in the negotiating team, has some federal logic in its philosophy. On the other hand, of course according to a valid political source, “we should ask ourselves what is the solution framework? What was the case in 2017 in Crans Montana which was not agreed upon, since both sides withdrew their proposals with Antonio Guterres blaming the two communities and wishing the Cypriot people good luck “? Since then, a lot of water has flowed into the ditch with the Greek Cypriot side, especially with President Anastasiadis, judging by the statements of Archbishop Chrysostomos to think and discuss aloud the solution of two states or to propose to Mr. Tsavousoglou a confederate solution.
In the midst of this political turmoil and due to a possible Greek-Turkish conflict, a little later the Germans tried to intrude on the Cyprus issue after the tripartite meeting in Berlin, with the Republic of Cyprus, of course, intolerant “of the German diplomatic proposals”, as described source at the Presidential Palace. At a point where the incentives from the Greek Cypriot side to the British to return to the Cyprus issue began “because at least they know from diplomacy and are mainly familiar with the depth of the Cyprus issue”.
In short, the British all these years, according to the writer's interlocutors, “are realistic and know how to play with words and diplomacy in general.” Finally, based on the data on the ground in Cyprus, taking into account the position of the President of the Republic on a decentralized federation and the position of the Turkish Cypriots for sovereign equality, they submitted their proposal.
The basic principles of the British approach are the following:
- In Cyprus, there have been two founding communities of the Republic of Cyprus since 1960, which today will be transformed into Community States and will establish the Federal Republic of Cyprus, which will have one sovereignty. The federal state will not have to reapply for membership in the UN or the EU. The federal government will have jurisdiction over areas such as foreign policy, border control, the economy, security and citizenship. The federal state will also control the implementation of freedom of movement, establishment of property and work throughout Cyprus.
- There will be a Council of Ministers with 9 ministers (6 E / K and 3 T / C) and two co-chairs with equal status. Also a decorative President. With regard to the appointment of members of the Cabinet, it is proposed to study the federal system of Belgium (Walloons and Flemings appoint their ministers) but also of Northern Ireland (whose Cabinet is appointed on the basis of the percentages occupied by the parties in parliamentary). In this case, the governance plan will be announced after the formation of the government.
- Legislative power at the federal level will consist of a single body of 36 people. The 24 will be E / K and the 12 T / C. There will be insurance valves for the minority. In short, the Senate proposed in other plans is abolished.
- The two Community states, in addition to the responsibilities of the federation, will have the right to conclude their own agreements even on energy issues. As suggested, they will also be able to join international bodies and be represented at international sporting events in the same way that Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have their own teams in the UEFA Cup or other sporting activities.
- The two Community states will give their consent to decisions of the federal government on international issues in the EU as well. If there is no unanimity then Cyprus will abstain from international voting or even voting within the EU, as was the case for 3 years with Belgium, for example. .
- As for the occupying troops, they will leave for the most part with the signing of the settlement agreement. Turkey will renounce the right to unilaterally intervene in the Guarantee Treaty, a small number of Greek and Turkish troops will remain and the guarantees for a period of 10 years.
- In terms of territory, the British formula proposes the implementation of the map agreed between Anastasiadis – Akinci, ie the percentage of land of the Turkish state will move between 28.2% and 29.2% with the return of Varosia and Morphou.
- In the property to apply what was achieved in the negotiations, ie to recognize the emotional bond in the E / C users (those who live after 46 years) and to resolve the issue based on the triptych return, compensation, exchange.
Based on the above, how are the British moving? In order for the train to return to the rails of Crans Montana, they are playing with the request of the Turkish Cypriots for sovereign equality, something that Ms. Lut decided is within the agreed framework and at the same time they are trying to satisfy President Anastasiadis in the request for as much decentralization of the federation as possible.
The Turkish side said almost nothing about the British plan. At present he publicly insists on a two-state solution with sovereign equality. On the e / k side there is again division. There is a group that finds the proposal of the British annoying, who come to confuse things, as they say. A second group considers the proposal a good basis, and a third group argues that the British plan is essentially a proposal for a confederation solution.
Judging by his public statements to Alpha but also by some leaks 15 days ago to “Phileleftheros”, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Nikos Christodoulidis, also belongs to this third group. Who, after a long absence from the morning meetings at the Presidential Palace, returned, because as it was said “the Morning Coffee team is impossible”.
Christodoulidis's statement that “the Greek Cypriot side does not even discuss anything that goes beyond the agreed solution framework”, and the very close relationship it has with President Anastasiadis specify the tactics that the Greek Cypriot side will follow during the informal five-party second half of April in Geneva. The e / k side will move in short with the dominant topic being the discussion of the questioning of the political equality of the T / Cs, something that according to a diplomatic source leaves no room for success in the five-party.
This position derives from the Dundee Doctrine and says that the only weapon that remained in the hands of the Republic of Cyprus after 1974 is the control of sovereignty. Everyone understands this legal argument, on the other hand it is noted that de facto this sovereignty has not been exercised on 36% of the territory of Cyprus since 1974, and in recent years not even on the Cypriot EEZ.
About two states
To a large extent, the issue of political equality was settled through the talks up to Crans Montana. The discussion even resulted in serious exchanges for the Greek Cypriots regarding the abolition of guarantees.
The side that reopened this chapter is the Greek Cypriot Party, namely the President of the Republic with statements such as “tell me a federation that the minority can decide for the majority”. A first taste of the matter has been given to the powers of the L σεnder in relation to the Pentateuch. When the state of New York asked the delegations to be quarantined for four days before the talks at Greentree began. Or when former President Trump did not go to the UN General Assembly because the governor of New Kuomo asked him to be quarantined for 12 days.
After Crans Montana, moreover, the President himself “overflowed” the game in the Cyprus issue by discussing in New York, one on the sidelines of the general assembly and one at the St. Regis (2 East 55th Street, on Fifth Avenue, New York, New York 10022 USA) for a two-state solution and a confederation with Mevlut Tsavousoglou, in the presence of Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulidis. This discussion was reversed in the National Council after Mr. Anastasiadis claimed that Tsavousoglou “proposed two states and I proposed a confederation”. Of course, His Beatitude put things in their place when he clarified that it is the President of the Republic who has been discussing the solution of two states for years.
President Anastasiadis' reluctance to pursue the desired solution was also clear shortly before the UN General Assembly in 2019, both because he believed in it and because he believed that this was now Turkey's position. Specifically, before leaving for New York, in a meeting with a major publisher, he reassured him (always in the presence of Nikos Christodoulidis) that “the bi-zonal bi-communal federation is dead.” During this meeting, Mr. Nikos Christodoulidis also had the brilliant idea of how to expose Tsavousoglou. He implemented it by chasing Tsavousoglou on September 24, 2019 in the UN corridors, asking the Turkish Foreign Minister to publicly declare that he accepts the ICC.
The assessment that Turkey has made a turn is not wrong. The moves in the EEZ and the process of settlement of Famagusta send a clear message. Turkey is simply waiting for the failure of the new five-party bloc, albeit with equal responsibilities, to move on to the next step. The question is whether the President and his negotiating team can make a move to overturn its plans or even put it in a difficult position.
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