The President of the Republic himself identified the resumption of negotiations in the way and procedure set out by the UN Secretary-General as crucially important for the prospects of the solution of the Cyprus problem.
While all through this period the President was stressing this need, albeit through ambiguities and contradictions, he now appears at variance and inconsistent towards the UN Secretary-General and the international community, promoting the position for a so-called “decentralized” federation.
What the result of this action will be is very predictable if it is eventually sought. The UN Secretary-General will not proceed to a resumption of the negotiations, because quite simply he will consider that all the Greek Cypriot side is calling for is outside and beyond the line he has set out and the framework he has defined.
We recall that the UN Secretary-General is calling for a continuation of the negotiations from the point where they had remained without a renegotiation of issues that have been agreed. The powers are agreed and that’s the reason they are not included in the Framework of the Secretary-General on the basis of which he is calling for the negotiations to be conducted. The issue of the effective participation of the two communities in federal institutions is actually raised within the Framework. However the powers are one thing and effective participation is another thing, which is an issue we can discuss if and provided that negotiations begin.
If the President raises the issue of a “decentralized” federation, our goal for a resumption of negotiations will remain unfulfilled, and all the dangers that we have repeatedly underlined if the deadlock continues, will arise.
Not only that. If the UN Secretary-General does not believe a willingness exists for a resumption of the negotiations, it is very likely that he will apportion responsibility on the side which, through its stand, discouraged him from taking a new initiative. And in that case we must feel contented if the entire responsibility for the failure isn’t assigned on the Greek Cypriot side.
Without negotiations, it makes one wonder how the President of the Republic will discuss the position for a so-called “decentralized” federation, about which he not only has not given any clarification, but numerous questions are also raised.
• Is it not on the one hand contradictory for the President to strive for and increase the central government’s powers in the negotiations and now to want to reduce them?
• How will fewer powers resolve the issues which the President is raising?
• Which of the powers agreed by Mr. Anastasiades does he consider as unnecessary and must be returned to the constituent states?
• Is the President aware that when he opens issues that are agreed he gives a pretext to the other side to also open up issues as well?
No matter how the issue opened by the President of the Republic is approached as regards “decentralized” federation, it can only cause harm to the effort for achieving a solution of the Cyprus problem.
Statement by AKEL C.C. Spokesperson Stephanos Stefanou on the debate concerning “decentralized” federation
AKEL C.C. Press Office, 10 October 2018, Nicosia