The Cyprus issue is not expected to be high on the agenda of the new US Government, says international scholar Zenonas Giarras, adding that it is not expected that the new US President, Joe Biden, will play a catalytic role in reaching an agreement on the Cyprus issue.
Asked by KYPE to assess the importance of Joe Biden's assumption of the US presidency for the US, the world in general and for Cyprus, Mr. Giarras, referring to the Cyprus issue, said that the new US President “may encourage or even and push for more dialogue, but not to determine the content of the negotiations and the recent discussions on the framework for a solution to the Cyprus problem “.
Especially today, he noted, “a period in which US diplomatic capital and pressure levers are largely exhausted in managing multiple problems with Turkey. “More depend on the players directly involved, namely the two communities and the guarantor powers (with Turkey prominent),” he said.
Mr. Jiarras pointed out that for US foreign policy, and especially on the Middle East and Caucasus fronts, Turkey remains an important actor that the United States will want to keep close to them, but not at all costs. “Biden is expected to be less tolerant of Ankara. But realizing the need for the United States to help Turkey achieve its goals, they may want to strike a balance. Given that for Biden, dealing with Russia is one of the primary goals of foreign policy (as well as domestic policy in terms of Russian influence in the US), the re-establishment of Turkish-American relations on a new, constructive basis and the removal of “Ankara will be crucial,” he said.
He noted that this approach is indirectly related to both the Biden administration's efforts to improve US-European relations and the new emphasis it will place on NATO. “For the United States and the new government, the European Union, NATO, but also Turkey belong – or should belong – to the same security system as Washington. “Although the resumption of this leadership-hegemonic role is on Biden's agenda, success is far from certain, as dynamics have developed in both the EU and the Middle East that challenge US supremacy and favor a new balance of power.” .
He noted that in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East, areas for which the United States has never lost interest, “the Biden administration will continue to approach its two predecessors: finding pro-Western partners and promoting pro-Western networks.” cooperation (eg tripartite and Israeli-Arab rapprochement) that would favor US interests in dealing with the “malicious influences” of China, Russia and Iran. “Cyprus falls into this context, especially with regard to Russia.”
Mr Giarras noted that Joe Biden's presidency's found the United States in a period of internal instability and external challenges.
As he said, among the main problems that the new Government has to face inside is the Covid-19 pandemic, since with more than 400 thousand dead so far, it seems to be first on the agenda.
“One of Biden's first moves was to sign a decree, which makes the use of masks and social distancing on federal property necessary. It will also focus on vulnerable communities, and will appoint a pandemic management coordinator to report directly to the President. In addition, he has proposed to Congress the approval of a fund of 1.9 trillion dollars to deal with the effects of the pandemic “, said Mr. Tziarras.
He added that “other internal issues that stand out are the economy that is clearly linked to the pandemic, immigration to which Donald Trump had a very different approach, as well as the political-ideological and racial polarization in society. “Biden plans to sign a decree lifting the ban on Muslim citizens entering the United States from various Muslim countries, which Trump has implemented.”
“It will be crucial to challenge the bridging of the social divide created by the previous government, and to cultivate a spirit of unity. “The effectiveness of the new government in other areas will largely depend on this,” he said.
He pointed out that in foreign policy, the Biden government will seek to restore some principles such as multilateralism, mediation, support for human rights and democracy, and constructive diplomacy. “The new president has already signed a decree on the return of the United States to the Paris Agreement on climate change. “At the same time, he has hinted at a new effort regarding Iran's nuclear program.”
He recalled that the P5 + 1 agreement reached under the Barack Obama administration in 2015 with Iran became a blank slate when the Trump administration left.
He also said that new initiatives are expected to emerge on the Palestinian issue, although those in charge of the new government are not very optimistic.
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