At the current juncture, Nicosia is called upon to elaborate a comprehensive proposal for the Cyprus issue, as well as for the energy issues.
“The systematic Turkish methods in relation to the regime of the “dead zone” and the Varosians are problematic”, writes Andreas Theofanous in Simerini of Cyprus, pointing out something that has also been of concern to Athens in recent times, as an ignition in Megalonis can easily to be transmitted to the Aegean as well.
“However, this situation should not surprise us” he adds and continues “it is important to understand the environment, as well as the wider context, in which the Turkish actions take place.
Turkey never accepted UN Security Council Resolution 186 (March 4, 1964), which essentially legitimized the Law of Emergency. Furthermore, since then UNFICYP receives its mandate from the philosophy of the same Resolution. After the Turkish invasion in 1974, the situation in Cyprus changed drastically. But the Republic of Cyprus continued to exist, as did the philosophy of this Resolution. Since then, Turkey has been systematically trying to alter these two important facts.
The Cypriot Government is trying by legal means to prevent the Turkish schemes. Recently, even the government has expressed strong discomfort towards the Special Representative of the Secretary General in Cyprus Colin Stewart for his attitude. And while our side will continue to defend statehood, as well as its legal rights, at the same time it must be understood that the UN does not always operate within the framework of principles, as it takes into account the balance of power. In this particular case it is observed that over time there has been tolerance towards the illegal actions of the Turkish side.
Therefore, while all the means offered through the legal route should be utilized, the Government, each government, is called upon to think about the utilization of the political methodology to promote the goals of the Republic of Cyprus.
At the current juncture, the Government is called upon to elaborate a comprehensive proposal for the Cyprus issue, as well as for the energy issues. As I have already repeatedly underlined, the conditions for a federal settlement of the Cyprus issue do not exist today. But there may be some conditions for cooperation on energy issues, as well as for the adoption of an evolutionary process of dealing with the various issues. And while the implementation of this proposal does not lead to a settlement of the Cyprus issue, it has the potential to bring about some improvement of the status quo. In addition, it is possible with this approach to achieve a re-evaluation of basic principles in matters of substance as well as procedure for the settlement of the Cyprus issue. In these contexts, on the one hand, the defense of statehood and, on the other hand, the recovery of initiatives by the Republic of Cyprus are of decisive importance.
Turkey at the current juncture will do everything possible to advance its plans taking advantage of the fact that the attention of the international community is focused on the war in Ukraine and its wider ramifications. But the Republic of Cyprus is also legitimized to invoke International Law and the need to respect it, and not its objectionable invocation. In addition, it is important to evaluate those points which can lead to a wider convergence of interests. Among other things, it is emphasized that the USA, the EU and also Britain wish to utilize the energy wealth of the Eastern Mediterranean, as well as to avoid tensions in the wider region.
I emphasize, in this regard, that the dialogue that takes place in the pre-election period on the Cyprus issue is largely outdated and does not correspond to today’s realities. The Turkish side is no longer discussing the Guterres Document, nor the bizonal bicommunal federation. Instead it focuses on a solution based on two states, with the ultimate goal of confederation. If it is not understood that our side must employ new tools and new methods to break the deadlock and defend our interests, we will be in for new painful surprises.