At 10 in the morning, Secretary-General of the United Nations António Guterres, convened the plenary session of the five-party conference in Geneva which comprises of Greece, Turkey, Britain, the Republic of Cyprus and Turkish-speaking Cypriots.
It was hoped that the Turks would submit new proposals that will give the opportunity to bridge the gap, which was found during yesterday’s meetings.
According to diplomatic sources, this seems extremely difficult as the Turks insist on a two-state solution for Cyprus, something that has no support.
Guterres canceled all the bilateral meetings he had scheduled for today, throwing all the weight on the plenary session.
This week, @UNGeneva is hosting the Informal 5+1 Talks on the #Cyprus issue, which aim to establish if there is a common ground for the parties to negotiate a lasting solution for Cyprus within a foreseeable horizon.
— UN Geneva (@UNGeneva) April 28, 2021
During yesterday’s contacts, Turkish-speaking Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar, with the support of Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, also submitted a six-point written memorandum, in which he expressed his demand for a change in sovereign equality.
In essence, he called on the UN Secretary General to proceed with maneuvers that would lead to the recognition of the pseudo-state of the so-called “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus,” which has no international recognition, except from Turkey.
The so-called “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” (TRNC), is an illegal entity established after the Turkish invasion of northern Cyprus in 1974.
According to diplomatic sources, Guterres explained to Tatar that his positions were out of context, and that a two-state solution could not be accepted by either the UN, the EU or individual countries.
At the same time, Guterres reminded that the discussion of a two-state solution is outside the terms of his mandate, while it would be absurd to throw in the trash the volume of work that has been done in the Cyprus issue for decades and start a new process.
The representative of the Turkish-speaking Cypriot leader, Berna Çelik Doğruyol, stated that yesterday was historic, because for the first time the Turkish-speaking Cypriot side submitted a realistic and constructive proposal to break the status quo.
Doğruyol referred to the six-point proposal by Tatar.
She said that for the first time, the Turkish-speaking Cypriots wanted to reaffirm their sovereign equality and equal international status.
It is an opportunity to start a process that will bring a realistic and lasting result, she added.
“Of course if this proposal is accepted,” she claimed, adding: “We came here to end a tedious, degenerative process for the federation that has been going on for decades and has not yielded any results.”
She does not mention that it has not yielded any results because of Turkey’s refusal to end its illegal military occupation of northern Cyprus.
Cypriot President Nikos Anastasiadis, after last night’s extraordinary plenary meeting of the parties participating in the Geneva conference, expressed his disappointment over what the Turkish-speaking Cypriot side has submitted in writing.
As he said “we remain firm in our positions that there should be respect for the parameters of the resolutions, the Summit Agreements, the work that has been produced so far, the statement of 25 November 2019 and of course the letter of the UN Secretary General of 26 October he says that we should work on the basis of the work that has been produced so far.”
Asked about his expectations, he said: “I have to say that he is very disappointed what Mr. Tatar submitted in writing.”
“Of course I have told the UN Secretary General that our effort was to create a positive climate without challenges, without references to what we unacceptably heard,” he continued.
“I have also told the UN Secretary General that we will submit our positions in writing with scientific documentation and not only with the political view of things,” the president added.
The Cypriot side remained strictly within the limits set by the Guterres Framework of 30 June 2017 and showed flexibility in matters of political equality and the effective participation of the Turkish-speaking Cypriots in the structures of the federal state.
Anastasiadis also suggested examining a model of a “decentralized” federation in which the constituent states would have increased responsibilities for their own house, but would not have sovereignty, as this would lead to a confederation.
Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias in his meeting with the UN Secretary General made it clear that Greece will make every effort to resolve the Cyprus problem.
He said, according to diplomatic sources, that Greece wants the resumption of negotiations for the settlement of the Cyprus issue, within the known framework set by the Security Council.
He also expressed his concern for achieving this perspective, given the stance of both the Turkey and the Turkish-speaking Cypriots, assuring of a constructive stance by Greece.
On the sidelines of the conference yesterday, repeated contacts were made with UN Security Council member states and the EU in order to put pressure on the Turkish side and not to lead the process to a deadlock
Cypriot Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulidis contacted Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov and American Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale.
Στο περιθώριο της Άτυπης Πενταμερούς Συνάντησης για το Κυπριακό στη Γενεύη, συναντήθηκα με τον Βρετανό ομόλογό μου D.Raab – Οn the sidelines of the informal meeting on the Cyprus Issue taking place in #Geneva, I met with #UK’s FM @DominicRaab. pic.twitter.com/1vhrNjiY5J
— Nikos Dendias (@NikosDendias) April 28, 2021
Lavrov and Hale, according to Cypriot government spokesman Kyriakos Cousios, reiterated their support for Russia and the United States in their efforts to resume substantive talks within the framework set by the relevant United Nations.
Christodoulidis also had a telephone conversation with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.
He reaffirmed France’s position as a permanent member of the UN Security Council and an EU member state on the need to resolve the Cyprus issue within the agreed framework of United Nations Security Council resolutions and EU principles and values.
Mr Christodoulidis also had contact with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell.
Britain, as a guarantor power and a permanent member of the Security Council, is participating in the Geneva conference with British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab, who had contacts with all parties.
It caused a sensation that yesterday the British delegation did not appear at the joint photo shoot at the dinner given by the UN Secretary General.
Raab said that today London is going to present innovative views, but without departing from the framework of the bi-zonal bi-communal federation.