President Anastasiades calls on the Turkish side to clarify whether it accepts the UNSG’s parameters (2)

The President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades has called on Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot leader to clarify their position and say whether they accept or not the parameters set by the UN Secretary General at the Crans Montana Cyprus talks last July.

In a written statement issued after recent statements made by Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, saying that he accepts the UNSGs framework as a strategic agreement on the Cyprus issue, the President notes that if Akinci accepts the Guterres framework as it was finalised on the 4th of July 2017, this constitutes “a positive development.”

“Following the recent statement by the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr. Akinci, that he accepts the framework of the United Nations Secretary General, Mr. Guterres, as a strategic agreement, I wish to state the following: If Mr. Akinci accepts the framework of Mr. Guterres, as it was presented to the sides on 4 July 2017, this is a positive development”, the President stresses.

He adds that “what should be clarified by Mr. Akinci, but primarily by Turkey, is whether they accept the following provisions of the framework:

a) Regarding the issue of Security and Guarantees, on which the UNSG framework says: We have to recognise that what we need is a new security regime, not the continuation of the old. We need the end of the unilateral right of intervention and the end of the Treaty of Guarantee as they are not sustainable. The current situation will be replaced by a solid system of assurances where the whole of Cyprus and all Cypriots of both communities will feel secure and by robust implementation and oversight mechanisms that will include an outside element (international dimension: UN, multilateral / International / friendly countries). Current guarantors cannot implement and monitor themselves.

b) Regarding the issue of foreign troops, on which the UNSG framework says: There should be a rapid reduction (of foreign troops) from Day 1 to a low level and then to numbers equivalent to those of the old Treaty of Alliance. In relation to sunset clause versus review clause for the complete withdrawal of the remaining troops, this is something to be discussed at the highest level, with the participation of the three Prime Ministers of the guarantor powers”.

The President notes that “I deem the stated acceptance of the UNSG’s strategic framework to be a positive development because, as it is well known, the reason for the failure of the Conference on Cyprus at Crans Montana was that Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots opposed the above provisions of the framework. If these parties no longer insist on the positions they put forward at the Conference on Cyprus, despite their numerous statements to the contrary following the Crans Montana Conference, then the necessary conditions for the immediate resumption of the dialogue, which I have repeatedly called for, are there”.

In addition, he says “I wish to remind that the Greek Cypriot side submitted on 5 and 6 July 2017, based on the framework of the UN Secretary General of 4 July 2017, comprehensive proposals in writing for each and every tenet of Mr Guterres’ six point package, something which Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side failed to do, insisting instead on their original proposals which are in stark contrast to the Guterres framework, leading to the failure of the process”.

The President notes that “yesterday, we were informed of the intention of the Secretary General to dispatch an envoy in order to explore, through consultations with the parties, the prospect of resuming the negotiating process. The Greek Cypriot side gave its positive response immediately upon my instructions”.

“I call on both Turkey and Mr. Akinci to clarify whether they accept the provisions of the UNSG framework, in order not only to avoid misinterpretations or sensationalist moves, but also for the UN Secretary General to have a clear picture if the necessary conditions that will allow the resumption of the dialogue are in place”, the written statement concludes.

The Guterres framework talks about a new security status and not the continuation of the existing one. It notes that unilateral intervention rights and the Treaty of Guarantee must be abolished, adding that the three present guarantor powers (Greece, Turkey and the UK) are not in a position to apply and monitor the implementation of their own obligations.

The said framework also refers to a drastic reduction of troops from day one of a solution.

The Republic of Cyprus has been divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion. The latest round of negotiations in July last year ended inconclusively.

Source: Cyprus News Agency