The message from the United Nations is that all players are in favor of holding a conference on discussing the Cyprus issue, indicating that, among other things, the “acquis” of the process must be respected.
At the same time, it indicates that there is a “common vision”.
These conditions, in the way they are set, can be read and managed multiple times – that is, not to prevent Ankara from participating, although it clarifies that it has another agenda.
It is noted that the United Nations places the convening of the Cyprus Conference in the second fortnight of January 2021.
What do the Turks say?
The Erdoğan regime does not rule out the discussion of any issue or idea, including those requested by the United Nations, but also Nicosia. At the same time, the Turkish side is asking for its own ideas – and it has already secured that.
In a Conference, where all views about Cyprus, which are diametrically opposed, will be put forward, the impasse will be inevitable… And this is what Ankara will seek.
The scenario of the two states
According to the Turkish plan, the stalemate in the Five-Party Conference will also be a stalemate on a solution for Cyprus, which have been negotiated by those involved for years.
In short, the Turks will argue that “time is running out, these issues have been discussed for decades, there is no prospect for a convergence of views and we are moving on to others.”
The tactic that is currently being promoted publicly by Turkey is to put on the table the scenario of a two-state solution for Cyprus, which is not, let me say in passing, the final pursuit of the occupying power.
In essence, it seeks a confederation that will give it control over the entire country.
The other scenario is like after a new impasse, to consolidate by imposing new accomplishments. At the same time, Turkey has in its plans new unilateral enforcement actions carried out both on land and at sea, while maintaining the issue of Famagusta.
Sources said that Ankara’s next plans are ready and will be implemented regardless of the decision of the European Council on December 10 and 11 in relation to sanctions against Turkey.
The same sources noted that if sanctions are imposed, it will be seen as a response to the EU decision. If not, Ankara will not have to fear anything, because it has no penalty for its actions.
The example of Kosovo
At the same time, the main player in the background is Britain which have already done their own exercises on paper for the next steps.
Most of all, however, they have delved into the limits that can be moved in terms of a solution model so as not to affect the presence of their military bases on the island.
It is clear from internal discussions that are taking place, the views that are being tabled are that a two-state solution does not serve them. They are served, however, by a model with clear federal elements, which can be called a federation.
It will be a model between a loose federation and a confederation.
Nicosia does not seem to have a plan other than that of participating in an informal discussion in order not to be burdened with any responsibilities.
Furthermore, Cyprus estimates that with this move, the expansionist actions of Ankara will be “frozen”.
The occupation regime cannot be recognized internationally, unless this is done by the Republic of Cyprus. But this obviously cannot happen unless there is a tendency to commit suicide.
Why can’t it be recognized?
It is noted in this regard that the Republic of Cyprus had intervened in Kosovo’s appeal to the International Court of Justice in The Hague (2010) to emphasize the fact that these are different cases.
Pursuant to paragraph 81 of the opinion on Kosovo, it is noted that illegal formations resulting from the use of force (invasion, occupation, war) cannot be identified. This reference also refers by name to the Republic of Cyprus, Rhodesia and Republika Srpska (Bosnian Serb Republic).
Germany is an obstacle
Athens and Nicosia will evaluate the data until the last minute in view of the European Council which will meet on 10 and 11 December.
Germany remains a major obstacle in trying to impose sanctions on Turkey, which failed to take advantage of Berlin’s October offer to give “diplomacy time” for another two months.
Ankara has not only not used the time for diplomacy but has also taken other unilateral actions, such as opening the enclosed area of occupied Famagusta.
The management from Athens and Nicosia will be done by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades. They will have to clash with Berlin, and they are afraid of Ankara’s reaction.
A decision that could be taken at the European Council will be a new “stern warning” to Turkey and that (again) High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell will prepare a list of sanctions.
That is, the Turkish illegalities will be rewarded!
The views of the author do not necessarily reflect those of Greek City Times.
Costas Venizelos is a journalist, editor-in-chief of the newspaper Phileleftheros in Cyprus. He is the author of books on the Cyprus issue and has a doctorate in Communication. He is a regular contributor to SLPress.