AKEL C.C. Press Office, 12 July 2018, Nicosia
The Central Committee of AKEL, at its plenary session on 11 July 2018, discussed the Cyprus problem as it has evolved after the collapse of the Crans Montana conference and in view of the imminent visit of the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General to find out whether there is room for a resumption of the negotiation procedure. At the same time, the C.C. of AKEL assessed the new international, regional and internal given conditionswhich affect the Cyprus problem.
The discussion in the C.C. of AKEL was conductedwithin the context of the decisions approved for thefurther elaborationofthe Party’s policy issues.
The Central Committee of AKELmade a reassessment of the Anastasiades government’s actionson the Cyprus problem since 2013. In the years that have passed since then, AKEL evaluated the policy pursued by Anastasiades with the interests of the people and country as its sole concern, as well as based on our own long-standing policies and positions regarding the solution of the Cyprus problem.
Indicatively, it was stressed that Mr. Anastasiades is being revealed for theerroneous choice to conduct negotiations from scratch, a policy which as we had warned collapsed with negative consequences a year later. With his assumption of the leadership of the Turkish Cypriot community, Mr.Akincitook a position in favour of the resumption of the negotiations from where they had remained, a position which Mr. Anastasiades also adopted. For that reasonAKEL backed the negotiation procedure with a critical approach as regards the mutual regressions from time to time. At the Mont Peleran conference, it is generally acknowledged that significant progress wasrecordedon territorial issueswhich Mr. Anastasiades failed to make use of, signaling the rapid deterioration of the negotiations, as the UN Secretary-General himself also pointed out in the Report he submitted last September.
At Crans Montana, the second phase of the Conference on Cyprus, the UN Secretary-General, the EU, Britain and, of course, Greece, supported our position for the immediate termination of the Treaty of Guarantee and intervention rights, as well as the position for a speedy withdrawal of the occupation troops with a mechanism for the implementation of the solution under the responsibility of the United Nations. The duration of the presence of ELDYK (the Greek Force in Cyprus Hellenic)-TOURDYK (the Turkish Force in Cyprus), that is to say the contingent of 950 and 650 soldiers respectively, remained the only outstanding issue. For yet another time, Mr. Anastasiades failed to make use of this support expressed.
In a relevant statement released by the Central Committee of AKEL immediately after the breakdown of the Crans Montana conference, we had expressed the wish that "the President's certainty that the sole responsibility for the failure belongs to Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side, is confirmed by the United Nations and the European Union" .Our wish was not fulfilled. The UN Secretary-General in his Report of last September and in his latestGood Services Report insists that at Crans Montana a historic opportunity was lost. In addition, he relieves Turkey of responsibilities by recording that all the guarantor powerswent to Switzerland ready to find mutually acceptable solutions on the issues regarding security and guarantees.
Having gone throughan unproductive fruitless twelve-month period and with the tension in the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Republic of Cyprus escalating, it is imperative that the arrival of the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy to Cyprus in the coming period marks the resumption of direct negotiations.The prerequisite for such a development, according to the UN Secretary-General, is the demonstration of the necessary political will on the part of the parties. Mr. Guterres is not content with this general position, but stresses that, for the negotiations to be meaningful, they should continue from the point where they had remained at Crans Montana. That is to say, with the existing convergences achieved, the Guterres Framework, the mechanism for the implementation of the solution and with a package negotiation, just like at Crans Montana. The UN Secretary-General in his latest Report calls for a very clear and formal response to this issue.
Mr. Anastasiades has to give clear answers to the UNSG’s Special Envoy Jane Holl Lute. If he does, either the way for a strategic consensus will be paved which in turn will greatly facilitate the solution of the remaining outstanding issues, or Turkey will be exposed. If to the contraryhe does notgive clear answers, the tension will escalate at the risk of leading to a crisis, while in the meantime the current partitionist status quo will be consolidated at an accelerated pace.
It is historically proven that the absence of an ongoing negotiation procedure, especially in those cases where responsibilities were not attributedon Turkey and/or on the Turkish Cypriot side, as a rule led to new serious faits accompli. The most recent negotiation procedure to find an overall comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem, which had been in progress for almost nine years, has entered into a dangerous deadlock. Turkey has already made a very provocative action, preventing the Italian EMI Company from proceeding to planned drillings within a delimited and licensed site. It is obvious that as long as the gap in the negotiations continues, the danger looms of new and perhaps irreversible faits accompli.
AKEL will continue to support with consistency the solution of the Cyprus problem on the basis of the principles and the agreed framework of the solution. The rapprochement of the two communities contributes greatly towards achieving this goal. Especially in today's conditions, the role of AKEL is particularly by our Turkish Cypriot compatriots. We will make positive use of this appreciation, continue and intensify our contacts with all political and social forceswithin the Turkish Cypriot community who are seeking a solution to the Cyprus problem.
AKEL’s position, the dedication towards the solution of our political problem far from serving political and party expediencies and considerations, is driven by genuine patriotism and the concern for the future of our country and people. Within this framework, AKEL will work tirelessly for the resumption of the negotiations as the UN Secretary-General sets out and for their positive outcome. We shall continue to demand the speedy withdrawal of all the occupying troops, the demilitarization of Cyprus and the immediate end of guarantees and intervention rights. At the same time we shall continue to warn about the devastating consequences of any partitionist solution.