Last Saturday, 5th November 2016, the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of AKEL sent a reply to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) regarding the Cyprus problem.
The letter is as follows:
Within the framework of comradeship and sincerity that must characterize the relations between our parties and with respect to the right of each party to set out its position as it itself deems correct on any issue on which it considers that it should state its position, the Political Bureau of the C.C of AKEL notes the following:
- It considers that the new position which the KKE is today formulating, that is to say that the strategic goal of Federation in Cyprus between the two communities should be abandoned, a goal pursues for around 40 years (from the High-Level Agreement of 1977 between Makarios and Denktash) and which provides for the establishment of a bi-communal, bi-zonal, Federal structure for a reunited Republic of Cyprus, is wrong because, in our view, it is not based on a comprehensive and thorough analysis of the parameters that constitute, through a historical course over decades, what we call the Cyprus problem.
The conscious acceptance by AKEL and the Cyprus people of the goal for a bizonal, bicommunal federation was the result of the new facts that were created as a result of the coup d’état of the Greek junta and EOKA B and the Turkish invasion. These given facts, the dilemma which they have posed and continue to pose before the Cypriot people as a whole is not whether we will have a Federation or a unitary state, but the dilemma Federation or partition through the gradual consolidation and legalization of the results of the invasion and war with all the disastrous consequences for the Cypriot people as well as for peace and security itself in the region.
- According to International Law the federalization of states constitutes only the transformation of their state structure. It is evident that AKEL would have never consented to the abolition of the Republic of Cyprus or to any arrangements that would permit the perspective of a future secession. At the same time, it is to say the least erroneous to seek after decades of negotiations the complete revision of the strategic goal of the solution of the Cyprus problem; such a development, given the current international balance of forces, would without any doubt lead to partition, that is to say the most certain form of the maintaining of imperialism in Cyprus.
- With the passage of time and unfortunately as a result of rulings passed by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) properties are being lost, the illegal colonization of the occupied areas is continuing, children and grandchildren are by now born to settlers in Cyprus and as a result the demographic alteration of the island is intensifying. These new realities that are taking place on a day-to-day basis are having a catalytic influence and are creating negative facts in relation to our long-standing assertions on the property and territorial issue, as well as with regards to the demographic structure in Cyprus, with the obvious danger that at some point of time there would not be something for us to solve.
- We cannot but take into account the efforts made by the Erdogan government to completely control politically, militarily, economically, culturally and religiously the Turkish Cypriot community. For the time being there are forces within the Turkish Cypriot community which are resisting. A possible change of our position would not only dishearten but would weaken them significantly.
- Therefore in the face of danger of a collapse of the talks for a solution of the Cyprus problem, the perpetuation of partition and the presence of imperialism in Cyprus the only existing way to end the occupation and achieve the reunification of Cyprus and our people is to work for the federalization of Cyprus in a federal union on its agreed form. The terminology of the federated units that would make up the federal state, is without real significance as to the form of the solution and the rights to be enjoyed by citizens. Besides, this is confirmed both by science and international practice. More specifically, in different federal states we find different examples of terminology (US – states, Russia – Republics, Switzerland – cantons).
- Within the framework of the new state structure, an inviolable condition is that the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all citizens are safeguarded and that the preconditions for the waging of common struggle of the working class are created. We share every legitimate concern for the safeguarding and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all citizens. However, what will determine the character of the state formation that is on the negotiating table is the content of the arrangements that are under discussion. Our clear objective is their strict implementation in favour of all citizens on the basis of the Christofias-Talat convergences, as well as the defence not only of individual rights, but also of collective rights, community and national, which for the Left are of particular importance.
- Given that based on the current international balance of forces the fulfillment of a new strategic goal is judged as unfeasible, we are aiming to achieve through the talks improvements also of some 1960 arrangements (safety, guarantees, workability). Taking into account the crimes that were committed against the Cypriot people and that led us to the current status quo, we recall that AKEL’s long-standing assessments of the 1960 given Constitution were negative as regards its separatist character, the indecisiveness in decision-making and imperialist intervention and presence of third states it institutionalized. In particular, the arrangements it included were an obstacle to the mixing and interaction of the two communities on the island, placing the common struggle of the working class mainly on ethnic pillars. Inter alia, our insistence on cross-community and weighted voting for the election of the President and Vice President of the state, strengthen the culture of unity of our people and improves the 1960 Constitution on specific issues.
- We recall that an essential expression of our anti-imperialist struggle is our effort to end the Turkish NATO presence in Cyprus – which remains one of the most militarized zones in the world. Indeed, we stress that AKEL’s anti-imperialist stance in practice is confirmed by the persistent and categorical rejection of the current President’s widely known position in favour of a solution with NATO guarantees and presence of troops. This strong position of ours led to a reaffirmation of the goal of demilitarization and to the abandonment of the position in favour of NATO guarantees, which is now becoming accepted by all as a result of the perseverance of AKEL. Our goal is the restoration of our country’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.
- At the same time, the solution of the Cyprus problem will enable us to move forward together Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots in the struggle to end the presence of the British military bases in Cyprus.
- We have to also point out that, in our view, the decision of the Communist Party of Greece to change its position on the Cyprus problem should also have especially taken into account the fact that the progressive forces in both Greece and Cyprus, headed by the communists, had waged in the past fierce battles to safeguard the principle that as regards the management of the Cyprus problem the predominant position must be the one democratically expressed by the people of Cyprus and that this position must be defended by all, particularly with regards the issues that have to do with the state structure of the independent and sovereign Cypriot state.
Unfortunately, this principle was violated by various pro-imperialist governments of Greece that wanted to impose developments on Cyprus and it was only then that this principle prevailed when the burden of the destruction and devastation of 1974 had become unbearable. We have no doubt that in both Greece and Cyprus, nationalist forces who are flirting with the perpetuation of the status quo and who prefer the partition of Cyprus to reunification on the basis of an honourable compromise with the Turkish Cypriot community, will exploit this change of position, and of course not in the direction, which we have no doubt, is KKE’S objective.
- We consider that our common commitment must be that we will take all the necessary measures to manage whatever disagreements we have between us within the framework of a comradely and sincere dialogue, with respect of one party towards the other and given that we have very important tasks to promote together within the context of the international communist and anti-imperialist movement. We regret to point out that statements made recently by some KKE leading cadres, which concern AKEL, do not move in this direction. It is also our sincere intention, as far as it depends on us, to safeguard the historical, comradely principled relations, which characterize the relations between our parties over time.
The Political Bureau of the C.C. of AKEL”
7/11/ 2016, Nicosia