• Δευτέρα 27 Ιουνίου 2022

Articles in English

8th July Agreement: a political fraud

The motto "crucial for the Cyprus issue" has been used ad nauseam. Nonetheless, 2008 could perhaps still prove to be the most crucial one since 1974.   During the new year we are either going to glimpse a faint possibility for a solution or the Cyprus issue will be, de facto, closed.

 

The Cyprus issue resembles an over inflated balloon that is ready to blow up.   In February 1976, while addressing Cypriot President Glafcos Clerides, Greek Prime Minister Constantinos Karamanlis said: "In my opinion every problem that remains unsolved for a long time begins to decay".   More than 30 years have passed since then.  The Cyprus issued has decayed, even though this has not yet become generally visible.

 

It is expected that soon after the February elections in Cyprus a United Nations official will embark on an exploratory visit.    If he concludes that there is sufficient will and opportunity for an "express solution" then there will be a new initiative.  The prospects for this are not very encouraging.  UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon appears to be indifferent.  The omens are not good.  It is doubtful whether Turkey still has the same political will it had in 2004, when it was begging the E.U. to be given a date for the start of accession negotiations.     The Turkish Cypriots have begun to believe they can manage on their own.  And the Greek Cypriots, addicted to the "stability" of the status quo, have no wish to touch the problem in case they get their fingers burned.

 

In six weeks the Cypriots will choose a new president.   The Cyprus issue is once again the dominant subject.  All candidates declare their unwavering support to the 8 July agreement.  This date has acquired an almost mystical meaning, more like wishful thinking that something can be done someday.  The fact is that not a single person believes that the 8 July procedure could lead to a solution.  This is perhaps the reason why it receives such widespread support.

 

President Tassos Papadopoulos, who is standing for re-election for a second term, portrays the 8 July agreement as a major success, arguing it will lead to a "new basis" for a solution that will not resemble in any way the Annan plan.   The objective supposedly remains a bizonal, bicommunal federation but . . . "with the right content".

 

Let us, however, examine the 8 July agreement and study carefully its first, and most important, clause.

 

-    "A commitment for the reunification of Cyprus based on a bizonal, bicommunal federation and political equality, as specified by the relevant UN Security Council resolutions."

 

Let us also take a step back and see what is specified in the relevant Security Council resolutions.   The definition of political equality and of a bizonal, bicommunal federation are explained in detail in paragraphs 11 and 17-25 of   the UN Secretary General's report dated 3 April 1992 (S/23780).  These paragraphs were unanimously endorsed by the Security Council in its resolution number 750 (1992).

 

In brief, this Secretary General's report states the following:

 

- One federal state with a single sovereignty, without the right of secession.

- The federation will be bicommunal as regards its constitutional structure and bizonal as regards its territorial aspect.

- Every community will have the majority in its respective area, as regards both population and land ownership.

- The freedom of settlement is subject to restrictions.

- The right to property will be subject to the need to preserve the bizonality of the federal states.

- The 1960 Treaties of Guarantee and Alliance and the stationing of Greek and Turkish troops, as provided in the Zurich and London Agreements, shall remain in force.

 

Whether right or wrong, this is the content of the bizonal bicommunal federation as was defined in the Security Council resolutions.    In other words, this is another Annan plan!   This is the solution that Tassos Papadopoulos committed himself to pursue under the agreement he signed on 8 July.  He may have rejected the Annan Plan because he claimed that he inherited it, but he is responsible for breathing life and signing the 8 July agreement.  Everything else that is being said about a "new basis" or of a federation with the "right content" is nothing else than "political fraud."

 

In 2004 the international community had made it very clear:   "The dilemma is between this solution or no solution at all."   The 8 July agreement confirms this.  Unfortunately, even if there is a solution to the Cyprus issue this will be worse than the Annan Plan.  The reason is that the principles remain the same but the situation on the ground has worsened.

 

Why, then, should the Greek Cypriots accept in 2008 a solution that will be worse from the one they rejected in 2004?   We have to admit that the reunification of Cyprus is now difficult, if not impossible.  A new failure in 2008 will turn the occupied area into a non-recognized state with direct communications and economic relations with the outside world.  Inexorably, Cyprus will be led toward a confederation between two states, sharing international representation.  In the future the occupied areas will harmonized with European Union requirements and we shall be forced to accept a split vote at EU fora.

 

The only way out is if a new government emerges from the forthcoming election -- a task that appears to be difficult -- that will dare tell the truth to the people and will try to salvage whatever can be salvaged from the collapsing Greek Cypriot  policies on the Cyprus issue.


Μακάριος Δρουσιώτης

09/01/2008