Hard landing to reality

Hard landing to reality

Nicosia,  April 4, 2015/ Independent Balkan News Agency

Ankara warns showing its intransigence

Akinci reveals his intentions in the so-called oath

By Pandelis Diomidous of MAXHnews

Two days were enough for Turkey to remind everyone who had high hopes for the resolution of the Cyprus issue after the election of Mustafa Akinci as the new leader of the Turkish-Cypriots, that persons do not solve problems, but politicies.

Slowly but steadily, Akinci has started moving towards the established policies of Ankara in Cyprus, who are the real obstacle for a solution to the problem.

The postponement of the meeting – of social content – with President Anastasiades, which incidentally will be held this week, but mostly what he announced from the step of the illegal House of the Turkish-occupied part of the island, during the illegal swearing ceremony, demonstrate that despite how moderate he may be in his approach, his positions on the key issues of the Cyprus problem do not approach the red lines of Nicosia.

In search of a new “Anan plan”

Reading between the lines of what Akinci says and taking into account all that he said from the step of the illegal Parliament in occupied Nicosia, that the new Turkish Cypriot leader will frantically try to achieve an agreement on the basis of what provided the Annan plan, which was rejected in 2004 by an overwhelming majority of the Cypriot Hellenism. How else can one interpret  his statement that he “expects President Anastasiades to show the same determination for a solution as the period of the plan Annan, otherwise he warned the future generations in Cyprus will face even greater challenges.

Political analysts with who spoke to MAXHnews during last week, underline that alongside the euphoria is created a real risk, which the political leadership needs to take into account in the coming period.

It concerns the possibility the Turkish-Cypriot community to take advantage of the fact that the other party will be President Anastasiades, who is a proven supporter of the Annan plan.

“We should all know that these are two politicians (Anastasiades – Akinci), who in 2004 were on the same camp, that of the support of the project presented by the then Secretary General”, noted the first, with the second going even further, saying that “the President of the Cypriot Republic might keep reiterating at every opportunity that the Annan plan can’t come back, but since this would satisfy most Turkish aspirations and since it is backed by the new leader of the Occupied part, then it is possible to form a plan with a similar aim, but slightly different with another name. We should be prepared for such a scenario and form in advance of potential coping strategy to not find ourselves again in the corner”.

Varosha

Much of the game in the following days will be played in the “stadium” of Varosha, in order to return them to its rightful inhabitants. The adoption of such a confidence-building measure would be particularly satisfying for Nicosia, but the Greek-Cypriot side is already faced with the intent of the opposite side to bring back the issue while “adding its own terms”.

The otherwise moderate Mustafa Akinci, has finally officially made the proposal for the return of Varosha, but with rewards that are not exhausted – unfortunately for Nicosia – to the direct trade of Turkish-Cypriots through the Famagusta Port, but extend to the legalization of direct flights from the illegal airport of Ecian in Timbu (Kirklar).

What, however, is recorded in recent hours is the government’s response, which has yet to clearly and unequivocally reject such a possibility, merely stating that it will accept an agreement that is governed by legality.

There is a convergence

Converging however information says that the intention of both sides, for the need for a dramatic move that would give new momentum to the talks that will resume, is to “square the circle”. An expression used by a government source, who wished to remain anonymous, saying further that Anastasiades and Akinci will focus on what unites them rather than what currently divides them.

Further exploring the issue, it becomes clearer that the most likely scenario wants the leaders of the two communities, during their first meeting, to agree to something simple. “To allow access to experts from both communities in the fenced city of Famagusta, under international supervision, to begin the planning and studies for the reconstruction of the city.

Such a thing, according to the same sources, apart from its symbolic character and message that will entail, is sufficiently feasible, since it is the position and view of both leaders. For Anastasiades this is the first step of what he recommended in the negotiations (when there was a meeting with Eroglu, for exchange of proposed CBM). For Akinci it is a position he repeatedly stated before the elections until the day of his election, in the light that the city should be rebuilt, after it was left to the mice and snakes.

The negotiating team is the key

During the efforts that will be made in the near future, a crucial factor will be the negotiating team selected by the Turkish-Cypriot leader. The initial euphoria of the information that Professor Ahmet Sozen would be appointed as negotiator, an ardent supporter of a federal solution, landed abnormally. This is because information from the Turkish press revealed intervention of Ankara for the staffing of the negotiating team of Akinci, something that presages control by the Turkey of what will be put on the negotiating table.

In any case the Nicosia seems to database, to favor the implementation of previous positions of Mr. Akkintzi that prefers to negotiate himself directly with the leader of the Greek Cypriot community.

And in the middle… Eide

The developments regarding the processes for the resumption of talks are moving lightning fast. Tomorrow’s arrival in Cyprus of the Special Adviser of the Secretary-General, Norwegian Espen Barth Eide, is the icing on the cake. Diplomatic sources say that the Norwegian diplomat fervently wants, during his a four-day presence to the Island, to lock a specific date for the resumption of the talks. This – the date that is – will be judged largely on the intentions of Mustafa Akinci, who is expected to seek further time to be briefed. As such, say diplomatic sources in Nicosia, the timetable will be postponed for the last ten days of May.

Nicosia, despite the presence of Eide, favors as the first meeting between Anastasiades and Akinci to take place in person. Apparently, because the Presidency considers that in the absence of the international factor, and having opposite a reasonable interlocutor, can further crystallize the image, without commitments and pretexts.