Cyprus problem

The General Secretary of the C.C. of AKEL A.Kyprianou replies to journalist’s questions on the Cyprus problem

They attack AKEL and distort our positions to terrify it

AKEL C.C. Press Office, 13th February 2020, Nicosia

We are extremely worried about the developments surrounding Famagusta. It is evident that what Turkey is gradually provoking publicly it is bit by bit implementing. We must react decisively to its machinations on Famagusta. For some time now both Mr. Tatar and Mr. Ozersay (Note: “Prime Minister” and “Foreign Minister” of the illegal regime in the occupied areas) have said that they must find a way to colonize the fenced-off city of Famagusta as well.

We consider that the only effective way (to avert this development) is through the resumption of substantive negotiations for a solution of the Cyprus problem. All the rest are half-measures because unfortunately, the necessary will on the part of the international community to support us in a way that would be deter Turkey from fulfilling its plans doesn’t exist.

On this opportunity, I would like to refer to some general issues regarding the Cyprus problem on the basis of yesterday’s statements made by the Government Spokesman, but also the statements being issued lately by governing DISY – today’s too – but also by the President of the Republic itself.

It is evident that the government and DISY have elaborated a new communication policy: Attack AKEL so as to terrify it so it won’t speak up and then distort its positions in order to defame it in society. That’s a brief summary of the communication tactics pursued by the DISY-Anastasiades government.

I shall answer them in a similar way and say that their tactical games, contradictions and regressions are damaging and endangering the Cyprus problem. If anyone should apologize to the Cypriot people, it is they themselves who have brought the Cyprus problem to its worst position ever.

The issue of a two-state solution has been raised and is discussed for the very first time during the Nikos Anastasiades administration. Rumor has it that a two-state solution was also discussed by the President of the Republic itself with numerous interlocutors of his who have conveyed it to us too.

For the first time, we have had such a sharp escalation of Turkey’s aggressions in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and in Famagusta. Unfortunately, the reaction of the international community, despite the fact that Turkey’s aggression is unprecedented, remains very lukewarm and timid.

With regards the question of who is exonerating Turkey and relieving it of responsibilities.

We will answer them that it isn’t AKEL with its criticism of Mr. Anastasiades. AKEL denounces Turkey’s stance in all its statements. AKEL goes on to say what our own responsibilities are in addressing Turkey’s aggression and provocative actions. That’s our position. Turkey is therefore exonerated by their own management (of the Cyprus problem). They must realize this.

Since I don’t like to engage in empty talk, I’ll just state facts. And my request is that the government ruling forces must respond to the facts, on the substance of the matter, not by indulging in sloganeering and aphorisms.

What does the UN Secretary-General say in his 2017 Report?

As regards Turkey, he says that in my (Mr. Guterres) private meetings with them, I have concluded that they (the guarantor powers) came to Crans Montana with the intention of cooperating to overcome the disagreements and reach an agreement.

As for us, the UN Secretary General tells us that we didn’t have the political will to go all the way. That’s what he concluded.

And the question to which governing DISY party and the government must answer is the following:

How did the government respond to these references of the Secretary General in his Report?

They reply by keeping silent. And if they say we are distorting the Secretary General’s report, I will tell them to read paragraph 18, paragraph 25, paragraph 26 and paragraph 45 to see precisely what those paragraphs say.

Concerning the statement of the Turkish Foreign Ministry. I honestly wonder what they expected the Turkish Foreign Ministry to say at a time when there are no negotiations, when we are in the midst of a prolonged deadlock, and no one knows if and when negotiations will resume. Were they waiting for Turkey to make admissions about what it was ready to discuss at Crans Montana?

Before concluding my remarks, I would like to put some questions to Mr. Anastasiades and DISY.

● Is it or is it not true that the UN Secretary General’s Framework, accompanied by the informal document on the mechanism for the implementation of the solution, abolishes the guarantees and intervention rights? Let them give us specific replies.

● Is it or is it not true that they only assign advisory roles – neither executive, nor editorial – to the guarantor powers?

● Did Greece accept or not the informal document, saying that it is the Greek Cypriot side that rejected it? Why?

Let me remind you that the Greek Foreign Minister Mr. Kotzias in September 2018, leaving the meeting with the UN Secretary-General, said that the content of this document is extremely important and we should safeguard it.

In its statement, the Turkish Foreign Ministry also says something else that the government is deliberately hiding. Does the Turkish Foreign Minister invoke or not political equality as an excuse for the continuation of the guarantees? This is indeed an unacceptable approach, but that is what Turkey says. Namely that so long as Greek Cypriots don’t accept political equality it cannot accept the abolition of guarantees.

Do you know what is the most tragic from all that happened at Crans Montana?

The government says Turkey was not ready to take any substantive steps, that it was Turkish Foreign Minister Cavusoglou that undermined the working dinner. We did not succeed or convince Turkey to take steps – I understand this because it doesn’t depend solely on us – but we didn’t manage to expose Turkey either.

If what Mr. Anastasiades describes in the way he describes what actually happened, why were no responsibilities apportioned on Turkey?

Why is Turkey being relieved of responsibilities and on the contrary responsibility is being assigned on the Greek Cypriot side?

We therefore failed to force Turkey to take a position and to reach a conclusion, but neither did we expose Turkey.

Let me deal with today. The President says he wants the talks resumed from the point where they had remained at Crans Montana. At the same time, he raises the issue of decentralized federation, while there is a convergence almost recorded on the competences and that’s why the Secretary General does not put it up for discussion with his Framework. The President is calling for a parliamentary system, while there is convergence on a presidential system. He wants to undo the convergences that the government says will guide us on how to move ahead. He therefore annuls in practice what he says we should continue from where we remained at Crans Montana.

The government says something else too. Namely that we should stop quarreling and focus on trying to resume the negotiations from where they had left off. We will reply in a very simple way. I only wish they would work in that way; that they would demonstrate consistency and determination and then they would see what AKEL’s reaction would be.

And I’ll end with the following.

We are accused of being obsessed with removing Mr. Anastasiades from power. I’ll answer them very simply. Mr. Anastasiades doesn’t need our own efforts to create the preconditions for his removal from power. He manages to do so by himself very well.


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