Even though the President of the Republic has increased the confusion and reflection with all that he said in his press conference yesterday, we would like to start from the positives.

• We note his position that bi-communal, bizonal federation is the goal.

• We consider his analysis on the content of the Guterres Framework as mostly correct.

• We also agree that competencies relating to the unity of the people, the economy, natural wealth, defence and security can’t be transferred to the constituent states.

From there onwards, numerous issues and questions are raised.

The President argues that his idea for a decentralized federation is aimed at the Turkish Cypriots abandoning the demand for a positive vote on all issues. The UN Secretary-General in his Framework however rejects this Turkish Cypriot position. By opening the issue, the danger, as Mr. Anastasiades admits, is that for the terms of reference not be agreed and that consequently the negotiations won’t resume.

As far as the controversial issue of the competences to be decentralized, the only thing the President said is that he will have opinions from international law experts before deciding. That is to say, he opened the issue without even knowing if there are competences that can be decentralized and which ones they are. We leave to one side that until yesterday, Mr. Anastasiades was saying that decentralization has nothing to do with granting competences, but with the effective participation in bodies and institutions.

Numerous questions are also provoked by the fact that the President while on the one hand accepts the Turkish Cypriot vote in the Ministerial Cabinet at the same time as he is wondering whether a Turkish Cypriot positive vote will be found on EastMed.

• Does the President perhaps want to reopen this issue as well?

• Does he really believe that by doing so negotiations can ever be resumed?

• And in the end, how he think that such a grand project as EastMed is not a vital issue for the Turkish Cypriots?

• And, finally, how is this consistent with his assurances on issues such as the Exclusive Economic Zone will constitute a federal competence?

Mr. Anastasiades at every opportunity reiterates the need for a good preparation and claims that this position is adopted by the UN Secretary-General as well. The President forgot what the Secretary General said about the sense of urgency. The question naturally arises: what did the President do in the fifteen month period of reflection? He evidently did nothing.

In conclusion: we share the President’s point that it would be insane to reject the UN Secretary-General’s Framework.

• However, does he sincerely believe that everything he said in his press conference is in line with what the UN Secretary-General says in his Framework?

• Does he sincerely believe that what he said truly serves the resumption of the negotiation procedure?

 

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