Friday, 20 November 2009

A WELL INTENDED WORD OF ADVICE TO CHRIS BRYANT

Mr. Chris Bryant, the British Minister for Europe, is to visit Cyprus next week, as he is responsible for British policy on Cyprus as well. This is his first visit to the island and obviously he wants to learn as much as poss-ible about its problems.
Mr. Gordon Brown’s, article on Cyprus published in a G/C newspaper preceded Mr. Bryant’s visit. The British Prime Minister has set the mood of the visit by saying in his article something that is already well known by now: London supports the procedure by which the Cypriots them-selves are to look for a solution. And it must be considered certain that we will hear this from Mr. Bryant as well. This is essentially the British policy on Cyprus. But there is something very important and very sub-stantial missing from this position. It is highly unlikely that the British government wouldn’t support the procedure. But what is important is whether the British government support the parameters of the solution the Cypriots want, as these parameters were agreed and announced by the leaders of the two communities at the very beginning of this proce-dure. Does it? This is what the Cypriots want to hear from Mr. Bryant since Mr. Brown has not enlightened us on that.
Turkey also expresses –often enough- support for the procedure. But does Turkey also support the parameters agreed by the two leaders? The answer is unfortunately, no. And this certified by the public statements made by Turkish officials since the two leaders’ agreement on the para-meters of the solution was announced. Mr. Gul, the president of Turkey, Mr. Ertogan, the Turkish Prime Minister, Mr. Davutoglou, the foreign minister, as well as Mr. Bagis, the minister for European affairs, they all talk about different parameters. While Mr. Christofias and Mr. Talat have agreed that they will work for a bizonal, bicommunal federation, with one international personality, one citizenship and with political equality as defined by the United Nations in their relevant resolutions, all these Tur-kish officials almost daily promote a «federation of two states».
The consequences of that is that Mr. Talat had to adapt his negotiating position accordingly –as he dares not ignore Turkey’s wishes and recently he has started openly talking about «a two state federation» himself.
It more than obvious that this position contradicts Turkey’s support for the procedure. And constitutes a disservice both to the procedure and the efforts to solve the Cyprus problem. Furthermore it creates yet again an issue of credibility for the Turkish policy on Cyprus..
So, if the British government’s policy on Cyprus is to retain its credibili-ty, London has to clarify whether it also supports the agreed parameters. If it doesn’t, its support for the procedure becomes meaningless. If it does, then London has a duty and an obligation –as a guarantor power, nonetheless- to go to Ankara and insist –in its own diplomatic style- the Ankara extends its support to the parameters agreed by the two leaders, thereby liberating Talat form its Turkish bounds to negotiate on that ba-sis with Christofias.
Mr. Bryant will do good to bear this in mind when he comes to Nicosia and during his talks with the Cypriots. This will make his visit worth-while. He will be able in this manner to offer a service to his country by helping to fill the holes, as it were in his country’s policy towards Cyprus and he will be offering the Cypriots an invaluable service.

NICOSIA
20, NOVEMBER, 2009

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