Pressure for multi-party conference raises questions

A phone call by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to both President Anastasiades and President Akinci on Wednesday, only three days after they met on Sunday, has been interpreted as increasing the pressure for a multilateral meeting.

According to Cyprus Weekly, insiders have told the newspaper that attempts are being made to hasten a UN-hosted multi-party meeting as early November. Meanwhile, some observers are suspicious about these events because core issues in the negotiations have not yet been resolved,

For the Turkish side, a multi-lateral or a five-party conference with the participation of the guarantor powers seems to be the endgame, it’s as if Mustafa Akinci has been given a deadline by Ankara which seems not to want to deal with the Cyprus problem past the year’s end,” an insider said.

This rush, this pressure, is suspicious, but such a conference would be totally fruitless considering that the Turkish side’s current position on the key issues of security and of territory is totally unacceptable for the Greek Cypriot side.”

Turkey remains adamant that it should remain as guarantor for the north after reunification and also indicates that there should be no territorial adjustments made.

The leaders will be meeting three-to-four times a week in Nicosia as of next week; if not enough progress is recorded in the territory and property, then what’s the point of even talking about the security aspect of an overall settlement?” another insider said.

How is the President going to sell a plan which is worse than the Annan plan? He won’t even take it before the people for a referendum,” the source added.

A five-party conference which would include the guarantors – Turkey, Greece and Britain, along with the divided communities aims to define the aspects of security and guarantees in a reunited Cyprus.

Both Greece and Britain have made clear that there is no need for third party guarantees in a reunited Cyprus which is an EU member state. This position is also shared by other leading members of the EU such as France.

Cyprus Weekly

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