The General Secretary of AKEL stated AKEL’s consistency and commitment to the solution of a Bizonal, Bicommunal Federation with political equality, as outlined in the relevant Resolutions of UN and to what the two communities have agreed on within the content of political equality up to Crans Montana “because essentially the issue is agreed”.
In his address to the 5th conference on the theme “The Left and the Cyprus problem” organised by Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot left-wing organisations at the House of Cooperation, Stefanos Stefanou said that everyone should understand that the issue of the solution of the Cyprus problem has to do with the co-management by the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots of the common bicommunal state, noting that the fundamental element of the Republic of Cyprus when it was established was that “Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots had to co-manage the land”.
If this reasoning was accepted by everyone then even the difficult to manage solution could work. “Unfortunately, for a significant section of both communities, the ruling elites and the Greek Cypriot community the Republic of Cyprus was viewed as a stepping stone to achieve the goal of union with Greece, and conversely for the Turkish Cypriot community, towards achieving the solution of the partition of Cyprus”.
As to whether it is acceptable for the Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots to co-administer the common state, S.Stefanou said, “this question still exists today in both communities”. This, he said, is how opposition to accepting the basis of a solution agreed since 1977 on the basis of Bizonal, Bicommunal Federation with political equality is interpreted.
The General Secretary of AKEL wondered: “Do you really believe that a solution can be reached with all that is weighing on the history of the Cyprus problem and with all that is happening around us today?” Around this question a big debate is underway, he said. We should not trap ourselves that we end up being forced into inaction. If we answer the question that there isn’t any prospect of a solution, then there is no point in trying to solve something that you consider unattainable. “We should be firm and determined in the face of the pessimism that exists on both sides. We declare that the prospect of a solution to the Cyprus problem is not over, it is there, but time is running out,” he said.
Stefanos Stefanou said that half a century has already passed since 1974, 60 years since 1964 and time is indeed merciless. The status quo is neither stable, nor sustainable. The situation is deteriorating for the worse and at some point we will be discussing how to manage partition, not how to solve the Cyprus problem in order to move forward in history.
On what needs to be done, Stefanos Stefanou said that AKEL believes that “if you don’t help yourself first, no one else will come to help you”. “We must take the initiative, starting with the fact that we must not abandon everything we have agreed through difficult negotiations. We need to preserve the negotiating acquis [body of work] that has been recorded so that we can start again from where the negotiations were interrupted in 2017.”
Consistency and credibility are also demanded, he continued, noting that we need to be in line with what the Secretary General’s reports and Resolutions of the UN Security Council say “by preserving the convergences that have been agreed so far and on the basis of the Framework that the Secretary General of the UN had submitted with the goal of showing the way to conclude the negotiations to reach a solution”.
Furthermore we must seek incentives for the parties involved, especially Turkey, to move towards a solution of the Cyprus problem, the General Secretary of AKEL continued. He spoke of a positive agenda that the Republic of Cyprus should formulate towards Turkey, saying that the content also matters. In AKEL’s perception, he said, Euro-Turkish issues are not a sufficient basis to generate Turkey’s interest.
An important area to promote incentives and create starting points for the continuation of the negotiations is energy issues in the region and Cypriot natural gas. He also referred to the proposal submitted by AKEL since December 2020 on the Cyprus problem and the recent reference by Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan on energy.
S.Stefanou went on to state that it is imperative that there is coordination and joint action by the forces of the left in the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities, so that we can overcome the difficulties that exist in relation to promoting a solution to the Cyprus problem, but also to resist the reactions that exist in relation to the achievement of a solution reuniting our country and people. There are circles and political forces in both communities that are in favour of a two state solution.
He also noted that the left must exert pressure for a solution to the Cyprus problem and referred to the Working Groups established recently by AKEL and the Turkish Cypriot Republican Turkish Part (CTP).
Referring to the war in the Middle East, the AKEL the General Secretary of AKEL said that all progressive and peace-loving people should join forces to put an end to this conflict underway in the region and the resolutions and agreements that exist in relation to the Palestinian problem must at long last be implemented, that will lead to the existence of two states, Israel and Palestine, and that will enable the two peoples to live side by side in peace, in cooperation and to decide for themselves the course of their countries.

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