Cypriot’s Voice reviewed the current situation related with the Cyprus issues and concluded the following:
- The international conference at Crans Montana rendered it more visible and obvious that the core issue blocking the pathway for a settlement of the Cyprus problem is under the heading “security and guarantees”. Turkey’s insistence not to accept the diminishing of the Treaty of Guarantee and the Treaty of Alliance and refusing an end date for the withdrawal of the armies from Cyprus soil are now the main obstacles to be covered during the last mile.
- The failure at Crans Montana has struck a severe blow to the efforts to reunite the island and undermined the process towards a settlement. The resulting deterioration of the political climate and the blame game which is followed by both sides, are causing disappointment and neutralize the citizens support of unification. Nevertheless, it is optimistic that bicommunal and other groups and NGOs from both sides of the divide, continue their efforts to intervene in the current stalemate to keep alive the prospect of a peaceful, reunited federal Cyprus. To this effect several groups are active, like the initiative Unite Cyprus Now, the Galateia declaration, the Bi-communal Initiative for Peace-Unite Cyprus that is supported by a vast number of organisations and bicommunal groups. The Respuplica! Festival is another initiative which can help Cypriots overcome the limitations imposed by the state and media institutions and release their ability to express their ideas about the formation of the future of their lives.
- There is a need for some coordination between the many initiatives, to make the whole civil society input, bottom up, into a holistic peace process. Cypriots’ Voice supports an initiative, such as a consultative constitutional convention or citizens assembly or some group tasked with responsibility for dialogue between those who want a settlement and believe that such a settlement, and positive outcomes in subsequent referendums, can be attained with wider involvement of the citizens, media coverage and politicians accountability.
- The failure of the negotiations at Gran Montana marked the end of an era in the Cyprus issue. The stance of UN Secretary General Mr Antonio Guterres indicating that a new initiative can be initiated only if the two sides are well prepared and ready to ask for his support, in effect is calling upon more intensive participation of all sides involved in the Cyprus problem as well as deeper role of the Security Council.
- Any new international initiative should address the implementation of a practical road map towards a comprehensive settlement of the long lasting political regressions in the Cyprus negotiations, which could also consider an evolutionary approach based on high and low policy Confidence Building Measures as an alternative way to arriving at the ultimate goal of unification under bizonal bicommunal federation
- Cypriots’ Voice urges and argues for more intense reaction to the stalemate and calls upon the citizens, the politicians and the international community for positive steps towards renewal of interest for a negotiated settlement in the immediate future.
Communiqué No 34 – Cypriots’ Voice – 30/11/2017