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The Resumption of the Negotiation Process on the Cyprus Issue:
Between Challenges and Hope


Since the failure in Crans Montana, almost seven years ago, the resumption of the negotiation process on the Cyprus problem has not been achieved. This is the longest deadlock since 1974. Anyone who looks back at the evolution of our political problem after the Turkish invasion and occupation will effortlessly reach the conclusion that the period of the absence of a negotiation process was precisely the period most conducive to new fait accompli. The same is the case now, all the more so now that for the first time the UN has exonerated Turkey for the failure in the negotiating process and placed the responsibility on the leaders of the two communities. In these circumstances, Turkey has returned, twenty years later, to the claim of two states on the island, while Tatar claims sovereign equality and equal international status as a precondition for returning to the negotiating table.

It is imperative that the negotiating process is resumed. The UN Secretary General himself, in a number of reports to the Security Council after the Crans Montana debacle, has stressed that the talks must resume and continue from where they left off, on the basis of the Guterres framework and convergences. However, in the process, finding that neither side was responding, he stopped saying so, confining himself to saying that common ground must be found.

The presentation attempts to explain why the Secretary General’s position to continue the talks where they left off is correct. Admittedly, at Crans Montana we had come very close to resolving the key aspects of the Cyprus problem and, therefore, strategic agreement on the six points of the Guterres framework would effectively make a comprehensive settlement inevitable.

But how far is it possible to preserve what was achieved in the talks? Can Turkey consent and return to the course of Crans-Montana? This painstaking question can only be answered by testing Turkey. What is needed is absolute consistency in the position to continue from where we left off, which is currently lacking, with President Christodoulides challenging key points of the Guterres framework, particularly on the issue of political equality. In addition, we need a positive agenda that cannot be limited to Euro-Turkish issues, but must extend to incentives, which obviously do not leave Turkey unmoved, such as the energy issue. As long as this is not achieved, Turkey will continue to pursue consolidate new fait accompli undisturbed and will persist in its deadlock two-state position.

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