Two-State Solution Not an Option: Christodoulides

North Cyprus News - Nicos Christodoulides
[Greek Cypriot leader – Nicos Christodoulides – file photo]
President Nikos Christodoulides emphasised on Sunday that the Greek Cypriot side would never negotiate a two-state solution with the vague notion of sovereign equality, affirming that there is no undisclosed backup plan. Greek daily Kathimerini reports. Meanwhile an opinion piece in Yeniduzen outlines the reasons for the entrenched positions taken up by leaders on both sides of the divide and by the guarantor powers.

Kathimerini reports that Christodoulides said, “Our sole plan is what we’ve pledged to the Cypriot people: to pursue a solution under the auspices of the United Nations, based on the accumulated negotiating body of work and Security Council resolutions, with European principles and values as a foundation”.  He added at an event commemorating the 48th anniversary of his coalition ally, the ruling centre Democratic Rally, and the 20th anniversary of Cyprus’ accession to the EU.

I want to underscore that a two-state solution with the ambiguous concept of sovereign equality will never be entertained by us”, he continued.

Asserting that “this is not our vision for our people”, Christodoulides reiterated, “We aspire to a European, functional, and sustainable solution. We envision a European state—a normal state, as the (UN) Secretary-General termed it—nothing more, nothing less”.

Additionally, the President hailed Cyprus’ accession as the “most historic development since the establishment of the Republic of Cyprus in 1960”, remarking, “We have every right to take pride because it represented the culmination of collaboration between the governments of Greece and Cyprus”.

Guarantor Nations Cause of Division

The attitude of Christodoulides and President Ersin Tatar and TRNC Foreign Minister Tahsin Ertuğruloğlu are reflected upon in an opinion piece written by Cenk Mutluyakalı in his regular column for Yeniduzen, he writes that he perceives the “guarantor” nations as the primary instigators of division, tension, and stalemate on the island of Cyprus.

 He views Greece, Turkey, and the UK as the purported guardians of Cyprus’s indivisible unity, yet acknowledges that they were the very ones who partitioned the island initially. While recognising the UK’s colonial history, Mutluyakalı observes Turkey and Greece’s contemporary political, economic, and cultural influence over the island, which seldom serves the cause of unity. Instead of fostering closeness between communities, he notes that they often drive them further apart, with each primarily concerned with their own interests. Mutluyakalı emphasises that an “Independent Cyprus” is a notion vehemently opposed by these nations, a fact he believes is understood by anyone familiar with history and politics.

However, he observes a consensus among the majority: Any solution to the Cyprus issue that Turkey and Greece do not endorse is deemed impossible. Consequently, he observes that a solution remains elusive, with the perpetuation of deadlock. He notes that negotiation processes seem more focused on posturing to seek a resolution rather than genuinely pursuing one or attributing blame for the impasse to one another.

The journalist notes that following a meeting between Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, he received a message from a journalist friend in Istanbul underscoring the importance of achieving a fair and lasting resolution to the Cyprus problem based on the island’s realities. He laments subsequent actions, such as the swift departure of the UN representative Maria Angela Holguin without meeting Tatar, and remarks from Tahsin Ertuğruloğlu in the Parliament, which paint a grim picture of the obstacles to progress. Even discussions with his journalist friend reveal a scepticism regarding the seriousness of the current leadership compared to past figures like the first president of the TRNC Rauf Denktaş.

Despite the cynicism, Mutluyakalı finds a glimmer of hope in leaders like Erdoğan and statements like Tatar’s, which could signal a shift toward genuine dialogue and progress. He emphasises the crux of the matter lies in acknowledging the realities on the island, which unfortunately remain divergent among stakeholders. Yet, he remains optimistic that if a consensus could be reached on these realities, the path to resolution would become clearer, and the problem might eventually be resolved.

Kathimerini, Yeniduzen

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