Negotiations on Security and Guarantees fail

Last night’s negotiations on security and guarantees at Crans-Montana, Switzerland ended in a row, after written proposals covering all features of the political problem.

According to Greek Cypriot daily ‘Cyprus Weekly’, both sides said that the other had failed to bring adequate proposals and none were sound enough to forge an agreement.

However, some calm will need to be brought to the proceedings as key figures will face each other again today (Tuesday) to discuss security and guarantees.

Furthermore, Turkey, the Turkish Cypriots and the Greek Cypriots also tabled proposals for the internal aspects of the problem, largely covering the vexed issues of property, governance and European affairs.

With regard to Turkey’s proposals, ‘Cyprus Weekly’ writes that the Greek Cypriot side and Greece felt that the Turkish proposals were vague, lacking the analysis, details and the depth which Nicosia and Athens were expecting.

On the critical topic of guarantees, the Turkish document suggested tailoring the 1960 Treaty to suit today’s current circumstances, rather than completely abolishing the treaty.

Regarding troop withdrawal, although there was an indication about keeping small Turkish and Greek contingents on the island, there was no mention of a “sunset clause” (a firm date for the troops to leave). Ankara suggested the guarantors review the situation after 15 years.

Turkey’s proposals, in the main, were founded on the ideas Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu had spoken of last Thursday and were considered to be unsatisfactory by President Nicos Anastasiades. The Greek Foreign Minister Kotzias went as far as saying that the Turkish proposal was “blackmail”.

The newspaper goes on to write that President Anastasiades’ proposals were along the following lines:

Who will implement the agreement and with what means. The Greek Cypriots want a monitoring committee to be set up, without the involvement of the guarantor powers.

An international monitoring committee, with the UN Security Council or the UN Secretary General (UNSG) himself acting if the implementation process does not go as planned.

Treaties of Alliance and Guarantees should be abolished from day one.

Separate agreement for troop withdrawal or a Withdrawal Treaty, with a mechanism under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter. A significant number of troops should go immediately. Turkish and Greek contingents (650/950 troops respectively) could remain temporarily, so long there is a clear date set for them to go.

Greek Foreign Minister, Nicos Kotzias was quite frank on Monday morning. He said the Greek delegation tabled the following:

There should be no intervention rights ruining the independence of a federal Cyprus.

The Turkish troops should leave Cyprus in different stages.

A Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation for Cyprus should be established along with a Treaty of Withdrawal of Troops.

Greece could be involved in mechanisms to monitor the implementation of the agreement only with regard to monitoring the withdrawal of troops.

Cyprus Weekly

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