In Cyprus the Chairman of the US House of Foreign Affairs Committee

In Cyprus the Chairman of the US House of Foreign Affairs Committee

The new “cabinet” was formed in the occupied areas, making the situation more difficult for the Cypriot issue

By Michalis Michael

The Cyprus issue, the energy issues and Turkey’s provocative actions in the Cypriot Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), the bilateral Cyprus-US relations and the lifting of the US arms embargo against Cyprus are expected to be at the heart of the talks, on Monday in Nicosia where the Chairman of the US House of Foreign Affairs, Elliott Engel, will have a series of meeting.

According to information regarding the schedule of his visit, the Democratic MP of New York, who will arrive on Sunday, will be received on Monday by the President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades, and will have a meeting with Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides.

He is also expected to meet Minister of Defence Savvas Angelides and UN Special Representative in Cyprus, Elizabeth Spehar, and visit the anthropological workshop of the Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus (CMP) where he will be briefed on the work of the Committee.

The “cabinet”

Both through the aforementioned visit and the diplomatic background, the plan is to hinder Turkey as to not proceed with its plans in the Cyprus EEZ. However, in the last few hours an issue has arisen in the occupied areas, which also “shows” the way for the Cyprus problem.

According to information, the co-operation protocol signed this morning by the presidents of the National Unity and People’s Parties includes a brief mention of the Cyprus issue and of “different models of solution” that must now come to the negotiating table.

The protocol was signed in the “parliament”, while Ersin Tatar and Kudret Ozersay went to the “presidential palace” in order to present the list of the new “cabinet” to Mustafa Akinci. The coalition partners have a common point, according to the protocol. “The negotiations that have been ongoing for half a century have shown that under the present circumstances the models for federal associations have been exhausted. That’s why different models must to come to the table, that would be realistic and could be implemented in Cyprus.”

The composition of the new “cabinet” is as follows: “Prime Minister” Ersin Tatar, “Deputy Prime Minister” and “Foreign Affairs Minister” Kudret Ozersay, “Minister of Finance” Olgun Amcaoğlu, “Minister of Economy and Energy” Hassan Tacoi, “Minister of Agriculture” Dursun Oguz, “Minister of Tourism” Unal Ustel, “Minister of Education” Nazim Cavusoglu, “Minister of Health” Ali Pilli, “Minister of Labor” Faiz Sucuoglu, “Interior Minister” Aesgüyül Bajbars and “Minister of Transport” Tolga Atakan.

The messages

On the one hand, Nicosia is trying to build up support regarding Turkey’s activities in the EEZ, on the other hand the Cypriot issue lately does not seem to be progressing (sources admit that term of references are not even mentioned in the diplomatic background) and the messages that the new “cabinet” is sending in the occupied areas is anything but optimistic for the future.

The brief mention, as described above, for other solution frameworks is just an extension of what Turkish officials say about the Cyprus problem. This situation, as shaped in the internal political scene of the occupied area, will put pressure on two fronts. On the one hand, on things to come if and once conditions for the resumption of negotiations on the Cyprus issue are met. What will be the influence that this ministry can have on Akinci?

On the other hand, the very political future of Akinci is ominous. If he is “enforced” with a solution framework other than the Bilateral Bi-communal Federation, which he himself preaches that he wants, then the situation will be difficult for his own potential candidacy in the “presidential” elections of 2020./ibna