What role will the Cyprus issue play in the upcoming presidential elections in Cyprus? So far, all candidates seem ready to follow suit: Solution based on the Bi-Zonal Bicommunal Federation, UN resolutions and the Community Acquis. Everyone wants a Cyprus united with an international personality and representation, where human rights for all will be applied. In short the known, which must be said. Averoff in announcing his candidacy said almost nothing about the Cyprus issue, while Nikos Christodoulidis yesterday devoted 30 seconds to a 26-minute speech. Contributing to this is the perception that the world is now tired of the Cyprus issue, adopting the easy conclusion that due to Turkey's intransigence it can not be resolved, so let us focus on other current issues.
On the other hand, the international liquidity that prevails due to Ukrainian and the anxious effort of all the countries that are leading in this international crisis to reorganize camps and alliances, can create opportunities for rapprochement on other regional issues, such as the Palestinian, the Cypriot but and the Syrian. Also on the table is natural gas, at a time when a long energy crisis is beginning due to the blockade of Russian gas, with all countries looking for alternative sources of power. In short, anyone who is elected new President of this country, and claims that he wants and seeks a solution to the Cyprus problem, must have a complete picture of the wider geopolitical situation in our region, which will either directly or indirectly affect the problems of Cyprus .
At the moment we are talking about, the Cyprus issue is non-existent from the international agenda as an issue, but it may return to the forefront in the coming months, in combination with the West's attempt to keep Turkey in the Western Camp. Already, some messages have reached Nicosia through the visit of US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Newland to Ankara. How can Turkey maintain close contact with the West?
* Upgrading its customs union with the EU, something that has been a constant demand of Ankara for the last decade. Turkey insists on this upgrade, because more than 50% of trade is conducted with EU countries.
* Through its partial energy independence from Russia. Turkey currently supports its economy largely from the purchase of natural gas, as well as oil from Moscow. Turkey has a ambivalent stance on Ukraine because of this dependence, but also on its coexistence with Russia in the Syrian. If the country's monetary crisis turns into an energy crisis, the Erdogan government will collapse like a paper tower. If Russia dismantles the Kurds and Syrian forces in the Idlib region, then Turkey will find itself in a total war on its southeastern border.
* USA. The end of defense cooperation with the United States for the construction of F-35s has pushed Turkey into markets for Russian weapons, such as S-300 missiles, while Russia has been building nuclear power plants in the country for years.
< b> How we talk
The prevailing view in Cyprus is that in order for there to be a solution to the Cyprus problem, Turkey must be obliged to do so. Without taking into account the size of Cyprus, some politicians insist that Turkey may be forced to provide the solution that the Greek Cypriots want through pressure, sanctions and measures to exclude it from international organizations. Some say this in Cyprus, while the whole Western Society follows a completely different tactic, opening doors for Turkey, which after the Ukrainian crisis has been upgraded to a regional superpower.
A smaller group of politicians in Cyprus believe that the best approach with Turkey is to start a process of finding a solution within the existing vested interests. This sounds more realistic. Cyprus, as an EU member, can support the upgrading of Turkey's customs union. It can, in cooperation with Israel, negotiate the sale of natural gas to Ankara through the construction of a pipeline, either through Cyprus or directly to Turkey.
How will it be solved?
Of course, in order for all this to happen, a new process of resolving the Cyprus problem needs to start at the same time. Judging by the way the Cyprus issue was presented by the main candidates for the presidency, we should probably admit that we are out of place and time. The general positions do not help, so all the candidates for the Presidency have to inform in the coming weeks and months about their intentions and plans, not with wishes and visions but with arguments and analysis, so that the citizens where we really are understand.
* Today, the Cyprus issue, due to President Anastasiadis, is in the worst situation since 1974. The United Nations does not have a special envoy, and the UN Secretary General, consistently after Crans Montana, gives the Greek side equal responsibilities for the impasse in which is located. How do we change this situation?
* The Greek Cypriot side, in a superficial way and dangerous ideologies, gave the impression that it is not bothered even by a two-state solution, meaning, of course (and here lies the hypocrisy), that no such Cypriot politician will be invited to sign such a thing, but this It will emerge through the status quo and over time, while the politicians of our country will make fun of the people that we are waging a long-term struggle. During the pre-election period, politicians must be asked and they must speak clearly.
* Taking advantage of this situation, the Turkish side has submitted proposals and demands in advance the recognition of the sovereign equality of the Turkish Cypriots, before engaging in any form of conversation. This position is not internationally accepted, but in the absence of talks, sovereign equality is a legacy for a two-state solution. How long will it take for our tactics to disagree with a solution while this position is on the table by the Tatars?
* Turkey operates in Cyprus almost undisturbed, as it consolidates what has been done on the ground, altering the population through settlers and financially controlling the Turkish Cypriots. At the same time, it is expanding the creation of completed by opening the enclosed city of Varosia and in addition is constantly drilling for gas in the Southern Cyprus EEZ. How far did Nikos Christodoulidis fall when he, as Foreign Minister, told us that all this is a bluff of Turkey? That he has no drilling rig, no staff for the platforms and will never dare to open Varosi? He also found drilling rigs and hired staff and bought 4 mining platforms and Varosi opened!
Profits and retreats
resolved, if all sides do not look at the situation realistically. Starting from their red lines, to reach a new composition.
* The Greek Cypriots will never accept a solution with Turkish guarantees and Turkish troops in Cyprus. This is now clear. Will we have a new President who can persuade Turkey to repatriate the abolition of guarantees to the table, either under the Guterres framework or by taking advantage of Finland and Sweden's moves through a proposal for Cyprus to join NATO? Watching developments from Crans Montana onwards, only gas seems to be able to bring Turkey back to the negotiating table. On the other hand, this means that the new President will stop talking about the construction of EastMed, for which we do not have quantities anyway, and look at how he can convince that Turkey will be able to buy and have unimpeded access to stocks. gas of the Eastern Mediterranean. Between us, this is also in the interest of Cyprus, since Turkey offers the best gas prices, in contrast to Egypt, which has its own huge reserves.
* The Turkish Cypriots are not going to accept a solution based on which there will be a risk of being trapped in a state, as they say, in which they will allegedly act as outcasts, pretending to be unaware of what the European Union is. The sovereign equality they are proposing at the moment, however, does not refer directly to two states, but to the Turkish Cypriots' legal right to withdraw from a federal state within the EU, in case they consider that such cooperation is not beneficial for & # 8217; them. There is always the example of Scotland, which as a member of Great Britain has the right to secede if it goes through a referendum. If Scotland leaves, the status of Great Britain will not be affected and this should also apply to the Republic of Cyprus. This presupposes, of course, that the Turkish Cypriots will submit a map that will satisfy the Greek Cypriots on the ground. Whether they will eventually leave or stay will be up to the maturity of all of us to implement the new conditions. In any case, under the 1960 Constitution, neither 1964 nor 1974 had the right to secede. But they did and we could not do anything. The goal today is the reunification of Cyprus. If there is to be a secession in the future, let it be done in a velvety way.
In conclusion, for many thinking citizens of this country, the Cyprus issue is not and can not be a lost cause that is not worth it. the effort to deal with someone in the context of the election. The non-solution of the Cyprus problem threatens peace, prolongs insecurity and undermines the economic stability of our country. There is a large number of citizens who will vote based mainly on the Cyprus issue and demand to hear not wishes, but answers. In any case, the next President of the Republic has a bet in front of him. Either together with Nikos Anastasiadis they will be charged for the final division without taking anything back, or the course of history will change.