By Eleni Mavrou, member of the Political Bureau of AKEL

In his speech before the UN General Assembly last Thursday, the President of the Republic highlighted Turkey’s escalating aggression in the Eastern Mediterranean, as well as the illegal and provocative actions of the occupying power against Cyprus. At the same time, President Anastasiades made a great effort to convince the international community of his commitment to enter into talks, stating that “at Crans Montana, despite our positive contribution and the submission of convincing and realistic written proposals, the negotiations failed due to Turkey’s intransigent attitude”.

The latter is not unrelated to next week’s session of the European Council and the international community’s repeated calls on the need for a resumption of the negotiations from the point where they had remained at the 2017 Crans Montana conference.

It is a well-known fact that, despite the efforts of N. Anastasiades, his government and the ruling DISY party, the EU and the international community in general have a different assessment of what actually happened at Crans Montana. It should be noted that UN Secretary General Mr. Guterres, the day after the collapse of the Conference, expressed his “great appreciation for the Turkish Government’s firm commitment to the procedure”, with the European Commission stating clearly in a report submitted some time later that Turkey had expressed its support for the talks and the efforts of the Secretary General of the UN and his special adviser, while former EU High Representative F. Mogherini publicly praised Turkey for working hard together with the EU to find a solution.

In short: we may say that the Conference collapsed because of Turkey’s positions, but this assessment does not seem to be shared by everyone else. AKEL has been warning for a long time that the situation that had evolved on the Cyprus problem after the break down of the Crans Montana conference, in conditions of an absence of a negotiation process and with Turkey not being apportioned any responsibilities, posed serious dangers. Among other things, we had warned that if this situation were to continue, Turkey would carry out its threats of drilling inside the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Republic of Cyprus.

  1. Anastasiades not only was ignoring AKEL’s warnings, but was at the same time putting forward various “imaginative ideas” (decentralized federation, parliamentary system, etc.), with which he in essence was annulling what the UN Secretary General himself requests for the resumption of negotiations. Now that Turkey’s provocative actions have going far beyond all previous ones, the government ruling forces are desperately trying to convince of their commitment to a solution. Indeed, they also have the audacity to resort to making cheap accusations against those forces who are criticizing N. Anastasiades’ handlings who they claim are “adopting Turkish positions”!

They do this to hide their own problematic image and unreliability abroad. They do so that they won’t need take a stand on the dangerous impasse in which we have found ourselves. However, if anything serves Turkish positions, in the best possible way, it is the time that is going by aimlessly, thus consolidating the occupation.

Turkish positions are served by those who consciously or unconsciously, openly or behind the scenes, pave the way for a two-state solution.

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