Preparations are underway; the efforts for UNFICYP
By Michalis Michael
The wish of the President of the Republic of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, according to the latest information from Nicosia, is to have an unrestrained discussion with the Turkish Cypriot leader, to discuss all the issues so that the resumption of negotiations could be achieved.
For the time being, however, as to whether there is anything specific about the meeting between the President of the Republic and the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community, the same information says that “there is an understanding with Mr Akinji, and that is why it is announced that by mid-August, before the middle of the month, this informal meeting will be held. The President’s wish is for them to be able to discuss freely, to examine all the issues, so that we can get to the resumption of negotiations. The objective is to re-launch substantive negotiations in an appropriate climate without provocations or unlawful interventions by Turkey. And once there, starting at the point where we had reached in Crans-Montana – and this is very important – and given the help that the Guterres framework can provide, with reference to all six parameters, on the basis of decisions and resolutions and with the validity of the principles and rules of the EU, to reach an overall agreement that will also take into account the issue of Security”.
Negotiations need the appropriate climate
Cypriot government spokesman Prodromos Prodromou referred to what transpired in the last few days. He said on the prerequisite for the G/c side for the unlawful actions in the Cypriot EEZ on the part of Turkey to seize in order for negotiations to start, that “it is common sense in all the negotiations that exist in the world. No negotiation can take place with the other side provoking, to violating rights and creating tension”.
He added that “negotiations that must be essential require the appropriate climate”.
The informal meeting will be an attempt to agree to the resumption of negotiations and, of course, a parallel effort to put an end to these provocative actions”.
Invited to comment on statements by the Turkish Government’s Vice-President that talks will not commence from where they had stopped, the spokesman said statements and comments are constantly heard from various directions. What is important is that the Secretary-General’s appeal following his initiative makes clear reference, as is stated in his reports, to the precedent of the negotiations in Geneva and Crans-Montana. If this is the aim of the Turkish side, it is certain that our aim is for the negotiations to start from where they have had stopped, in order to capitalize on the progress made and not start again from the beginning, but also to avoid an attempts that are being heard to divert negotiation from the UN framework”.
He added that “the President of the Republic all this time, in the two years since Crans-Montana, has made unabated efforts to resume negotiations. The side that had invoked either the European elections or Brexit to stall was not the Greek Cypriot side. At the moment, it is important that it is understood – and we hope to have the support of the international community, the Security Council – that the negotiation should be re-launched, within the Guterres framework, with the six parameters”.
Efforts for UNFICYP and terms of reference
The issue of the creation of a “mechanisms” for more systematic information exchange and problem solving, in order to avoid tensions and negative incidents, recommended by the UN Secretary-General in his report, is one of the “thorns” of the draft resolution examined by the members of the Security Council.
As the diplomatic source said, the language of the draft resolution – which is shorter and more specific than the previous one – aims to strengthen the mandate of the SG and Jane Holl Lute’s attempt to reach an agreement on the terms of reference. He also suggests setting up mechanisms for several different issues, expanding the relevant reference of the previous resolution and asks from the SG to submit a new good service report by 15 November.
The Cypriot government has made its views known on this issue, and through continuous contacts between the permanent representative Andreas Mavroyiannis and the members of the Security Council seeks to improve the language of the plan, which, if finally agreed by Tuesday afternoon, will be adopted on July 24, instead of July 30, as had been scheduled by the Peruvian presidency.
It is recalled that the UN Secretary-General, in his recent report, highlighting the two sides’ positions on military mechanisms, states that “while the Turkish Cypriot side expressed its willingness to examine strengthened or new mechanisms, the Greek Cypriot side was reticent about any new regulation which considers to provide a status of recognition to the other community, arguing instead that these issues need to be addressed through the existing technical committees”.
The Special Representative of the SG also referred to this issue, in its briefing to the members of the Security Council, who supported the expansion of law enforcement and illegal immigration mechanisms. However, according to a diplomatic source, there is no clarity in the positions of the Secretariat.
Several references have been made to the Security Council’s consultations on the issue of “tension in the Eastern Mediterranean”, where the SG’s Special Representative reiterated the Secretary General’s call for restraint. Several members have expressed support for the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus, while some Europeans have referred to the decisions of the EU ministers. The Russian attitude was also positive.
The US side has raised the issue of urgency for the reopening of negotiations, a little more forcefully than before, suggesting that they might have to see some deadlines and for the Security council to examine how to proceed after that. They also reiterated the known positions for peacekeeping operations and that they are not a substitute for the political process./ibna