Window of opportunity in April to resume negotiations

Greek Cypriot negotiator Andreas Mavroyiannis has said that it may be possible to resume the stalled Cyprus negotiations in April.

Giving a lecture at the London School of Economics on Monday evening Mavroyiannis said:

“I believe that by now we have reasons to believe that this might be possible in the coming weeks, sometime in April maybe, we don’t know exactly. But we might find a way forward because on the one hand the Turkish NAVTEX expires at the beginning of April and we are going to have also a break in the search [for gas] being conducted by ENI. So maybe this would shape up a window of opportunity for the resumption of the talks. We will see what happens. The important thing is to stop the violations.”

With regard to Turkey’s stance, he said:

“It has to realise that the settlement would create a win-win situation; but for this to happen Turkey needs to accept that Cyprus was and will remain an autonomous actor in the Eastern Mediterranean.”

Answering questions put by the audience and the event’s chair James Ker-Lindsay, an LSE academic, Mavroyiannis rejected the idea of timeframes in the negotiations. “Not because we don`t want to work as speedily as possible, but because when you fix a deadline you give the impression that you if you don`t meet it, then you are going to do something alternative. As far as we are concerned, we refuse ideas about what some people call ‘velvet divorce’ or two state solution. (…) From an ethical and moral point of view I refuse to consider the future of my country in terms of division.”

However, he warned that if one wanted to be realistic about timeframes, they could not ignore some fundamental facts, the most serious of which was the political orientation of Turkey today, which he described as “really very, very worrisome for all of us.”

Mavroyiannis cautioned: “We need to rush it a bit, because if we wait a few more years there will be no Turkish Cypriot community left anymore or they will not be represented by their leadership”.

“There is a complete change of orientation towards a progressive Islamisation of society in Turkey. We see they are not interested in modernising their society… and they are not really interested in working towards accession to the EU. And they are trying to play very dangerous games in the neighbourhood.

We are running out of time in Cyprus. We need to do something as soon as possible,” he concluded.

Source Cyprus Mail

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