Nicosia.- (GreekNewOnline, CNA, Reuters)
Despite President Anastasiades’ concessions on the rotating presidency, effective participation of the Turkish Cypriots in all federal government and on the issue of 4 freedoms, Turkey refused to present in writing up to the last minute that it will abolish the system of guarantees and it will accept a “sunset clause” on the withdrawal of its troops.
According to CNA, on the territorial level, the Turkish side would only accept the return of part of Morphou to the Greek Cypriot constituent state, in an agreed federal solution. Furthermore, Turkey wanted any agreement reached to become primary law of the EU, while it insisted on equal treatment of Turks in Cyprus with Greeks residing on the island after a political settlement.
Diplomats said Turkey had offered little to Greek Cypriots wanting a full withdrawal of Turkish troops from the island. Indications that had emerged Thursday that Turkey was considering relinquishing intervention rights vanished when the Greek side asked for that commitment in writing.
The Greek Cypriots had been ready to make conditional concessions on Turkish Cypriot demands for a rotating presidency, the other key issue. Their plan was submitted in writing.
“I don’t know where it may go from here,” a diplomatic source told Reuters. That source found fault with Turkish Cypriots for being “a bit greedy” and “overplaying their hand,” but also Greek Cypriots, who possibly made a tactical error in asking for a written commitment from Turkey relinquishing its intervention rights before a deal had been agreed.
“I just don’t think there is a sense of trust there. We were really, really close,” the diplomatic source added.
Another source close to the Greek side said Turkey had refused to deliver on earlier indications made to the United Nations that it would be “flexible” on intervention rights.
When the United Nations suggested those points be summarized, paving the way for a possible meeting between the prime ministers of Turkey, Greece and Britain – the guarantor powers – next week in New York, Ankara balked.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu then said those rights could possibly be subject to a review in 15 years, two sources said.
“We didn’t see that flexibility,” the source close to the Greek side said.
Anastasiades’ phone call with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras after midnight was about the prime ministers from the three guarantor powers possibly going to Crans-Montana to close the chapter on security, but the sticking point was the fact that Turkey did not submit any written proposals.
The outcome of the Cyprus Conference is, under no circumstances, a positive development, Government Spokesman Nikos Christodoulides said, pointing out at the same time that this is not the end of the road.
Speaking after a marathon dinner which the UN Secretary General hosted for the heads of participating delegations to the Conference, at Crans Montana, the Spokesman said that “the unacceptable status quo on the island cannot be the future of Cyprus and President Nicos Anastasiades will reinforce his efforts to create the conditions that will allow us to hope for an end to the Turkish occupation and reunification of our homeland.”
Unfortunately, the Spokesman added, there was no result under the current effort due to the Turkish side’s insistence on continuing the Treaty of Guarantees, on maintaining Turkey’s right to intervene and on the presence of Turkish troops on the island.
Further to the Turkish positions on the chapter of security and guarantees, he said, the positions expressed on the remaining chapters not only deviate from the UNSG’s framework but they cannot be accepted under any circumstances.
The Spokesman said that from day one in Crans Montana, the President of the Republic submitted specific and comprehensive proposals on the basis and ideas of the SG so that if they were accepted, they could have paved the way for an overall solution to the Cyprus problem. Specific written proposals which addressed the concerns of the Turkish Cypriots, without disregarding the concerns of the Greek Cypriot community, he explained.
Christodoulides said that the Greek government submitted a written proposal on the issue of security and guarantees, which was presented with in a constructive will and approach to achieve a positive result.
The Spokesman conveyed the President of the Republic’s satisfaction for the excellent cooperation with the Greek FM who was in Crans Montana throughout the past several days and with the Greek Prime Minister who was in constant communication with the President of the Republic.
The President, said Christodoulides, wanted to thank the UNSG for his presence in Crans Montana and the way he approached the issues which indicate he understands the principles that should govern a comprehensive solution of the Cyprus problem and will continue to be after a possible solution, an EU Member State.
Turkey’s intervention rights
in Cyprus could not be
accepted, says Greek FM
Turkey’s intervention rights throughout Cyprus could not possibly be accepted, the Foreign Minister of Greece Nikos Kotzias wrote on twitter.
He added that “the dream and plan for a Cyprus solution remains alive”.
The message was posted early on Friday, after the Conference on Cyprus was concluded in Switzerland without agreement.
“The Turkish Cypriot side has fulfilled all its duties at the bargaining table for a permanent and fair solution,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu added.
“This outcome shows the impossibility of reaching a settlement within the parameters of the United Nation’s goodwill mission,” he said.
He said the prime ministers of the grantor nations – Turkey, Greece and the United Kingdom – would have been invited to the discussions in the Swiss Alps if there was a positive atmosphere.
Çavuşoğlu stressed that Turkey now has to assess and decide its next steps to resolve the Cyprus issue.
“Unfortunately, the Greek Cypriot side did not take an expected constructive stance for a solution, given that it feels comfortable for being an European Union member,” Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said in Ankara on July 7, after the collapse was announced.
He said the Turkish Cypriot side tried to remain constructive all from the beginning, accusing the 2004 move to accept Cyprus as a full member of the EU of laying the foundation for the negative outcome at the talks.
Turkey will do everything within the framework of international law to defend the rights of Turkish Cypriots, Yıldırım added.
One diplomat in Crans-Montana lamented that the sides had come “so, so close” to succeeding, a Reuters report said.
Indications which had emerged that Turkey was considering relinquishing intervention rights vanished when the Greek side asked for that commitment in writing, it said.
The Greek Cypriots had indicated readiness to make concessions on Turkish Cypriot demands for a rotating presidency, the other key issue.
Reuters said the source found fault with Turkish Cypriots for being “a bit greedy” and “overplaying their hand”, but also Greek Cypriots, who possibly made a tactical error in asking for a written commitment from Turkey relinquishing its intervention rights before a deal had been agreed.
“I just don’t think there is a sense of trust there. We were really, really close,” one diplomatic source added. Sources also said the four-hour dinner had been marked by “yelling and drama”.
A UN source close to the talks said: “Turkey conceded in private to us end to guarantees and right of intervention. When we signaled this to [President Nicos] Anastasiades, he started insisting on zero troops. He simply didn’t want it. Tonight’s dinner was a disaster and he was behaving really badly.”