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And Now What?

By Stefanos Stefanou - Member of the Political Bureau of AKEL,

former Government Spokesman


January 2015

"Find an agreement amongst yourselves (concerning the resumption of the negotiations) and then call on me". This was the statement made by the UN Secretary-General's Special Advisor on the Cyprus problem Mr. Eide after his meeting with President Anastasiades. This statement can also be interpreted as the end of the international organisation's efforts for a resumption of the inter-communal talks.

There is no doubt whatsoever that the suspension of the negotiations was provoked by Turkey's illegal actions against the Republic of Cyprus. Furthermore, there is no doubt that Turkey through its provocative actions is aiming to turn the issue of natural gas from a sovereign right of the Republic of Cyprus to a problem between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots. The statement of Turkish Prime Minister Mr. Davutoglu was clear "The Greek Cypriot side (he means the Republic of Cyprus) is attempting to monopolise the exploitation of the island's natural resources".

Quite rightly therefore the President and all the political forces rejected the possibility of the natural gas becoming an inter-communal problem. They also correctly supported that negotiations cannot take place with threats and blackmails being issued.

There is unanimity up to this point. Form then onwards the disagreements begin as is the case every time, when the "we won't" end and when we must undertake initiatives by submitting concrete proposals.

Who does the stalemate and deadlock suit? It suits and favours all those seeking or those whose interests are served by the partition of Cyprus, Turkey first and foremost. For Cyprus, partition forebodes new adventures and the possibility of the blessing of natural gas being transformed into a curse. Consequently, the Greek Cypriot side cannot limit itself just to what it rejects. It must, or better still, should already have undertaken initiatives for creating the preconditions for the resumption of the negotiations. If this in the end is not attainable, at least no one should apportion responsibilities on it for ensuing developments.

In view of this critical situation that has evolved, AKEL has urged the President of the Republic to formulate and submit proposals which decisively nullify Turkey's allegations and at the same time, to channel the international community's initiatives in the correct direction. AKEL has submitted to the President a package of concrete proposals for the fulfillment of two goals:

First, the need to strengthen and substantiate the Greek Cypriot side's position that it is ready, with the solution of the Cyprus problem, to cooperate with the Turkish Cypriot community for the management of the natural resources and to share the revenues that will stem from their exploitation.

Second, to underline our side's readiness, with the solution of the Cyprus problem, to cooperate with Turkey in the field of energy and natural gas.

Unfortunately, the President of the Republic instead of opting for a pro-active policy that will give the initiative of actions to the Republic of Cyprus has opted for inertia which harbours dangers. The President didnít even dare proceed to the self-evident, that is to say to put forth the very important convergences that were agreed by the former President of the Republic Mr. D. Christofias with Mr. Talat and Eroglu on the critical issues of the maritime zones, natural resources (including that of natural gas) and the distribution of the federal revenues (including the revenues from the natural gas).

At this very crucial juncture for the Cyprus problem the President of the Republic has demonstrated fearfulness. However, developments are worrying and the prospects menacing. The President is called upon to, even at this stage, to assume his responsibilities and do what he himself on various occasions likes to declare: to be useful, instead of popular - before it is too late.

Greek Tribune




The Cyprus
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