Guterres flew into Switzerland on Thursday to press Greek and Turkish Cypriots to seal a deal reuniting their east Mediterranean island. Diplomatic efforts to reunite Cyprus have failed since the island was riven in a 1974 Turkish army invasion. But factors such as discovery of gas in the area could increase pressure – domestic and international – for a deal. Guterres is due to leave for the G20 summit on Friday morning, opening only a narrow window for what might be a final push.
Pence rang both leaders to underscore U.S. support, the White House said in a statement. “The Vice President urged President Anastasiades and Akinci to seize this historic opportunity to reunify the island and expressed his confidence in both leaders’ ability to secure a settlement that would reunify Cyprus as a bizonal, bicommunal federation,” the statement said.
Recent major gas discoveries in the Eastern Mediterranean have refocused attempts to end the conflict, partly because the basin could hold sufficient to wean Europe off reliance on Russian gas, but also because of overlapping territorial claims.
Greek Cypriots recently indicated they would go ahead with plans for gas exploration, despite opposition from Turkey.
One diplomatic source said Turkey might be willing to rethink its role on guarantor rights. Turkey, Greece and Britain are guarantor powers of Cyprus in an independence treaty which granted the former colony independence in 1960. That treaty gives them intervention rights to restore constitutional order. Turkey has about 30,000 troops in northern Cyprus, a holdover from the 1974 invasion.
Greek Cypriots had previously objected to Turkish Cypriot demands for a rotating presidency, but another source said they had indicated readiness to discuss such an arrangement under conditions.
Any agreement would almost certainly have to go to separate referendums in the Greek and Turkish parts of the island, which each have their deeply-rooted sensitivities born of past communal conflicts.
Negotiators must agree what powers would be held by two probably largely autonomous zones and which would be ceded to any central administration. It was the second time in a week negotiators had drafted Guterres in to lend his weight to the talks.
The problem has always been who goes first with concessions that will allow the others to follow. It is now obvious that only the Secretary-General has the authority and stature to press the various parties and perhaps find a way to break this deadlock.
EU has only one enemy, Turkey, a NATO member! Turkey has invaded Northern Cyprus and harasses Greece every single day. Turkey is a big threat to EU. An EU army could throw the invading Turkish army out of the occupied Northern Cyprus very easily. NATO cannot do that, unless it expelled Turkey. The two British bases in Cyprus must help the EU army to expel the Turkish troops.
Juncker committed EU to the concept of collective defense to confront Turkey. A Turkish attack on any one EU member shall be considered an attack against them all. Teflon Sultan Erdoğan once more revealed his expansionist Neo-Ottoman vision. Jihadi-in-chief Erdoğan, the major patron of Jihadis, declared the borders of Turkish heart are deep inside Europe up to Vienna, presenting his understanding that Balkans and Eastern Europe belong to Turkey!
Corrupt terrorist Erdoğan went so far as to say that in their minds, Turks could not separate Andrianopolis from Thessaloniki, Greece’s second largest city! In his declaration, the corrupt terrorist Turkish President brought up the borders of countries spanning from Thrace and the Balkans to north Africa, western Europe and the Caucus regions, adding that Turkey is not only Turkey. “Except the eighty million Turkish citizens, Turkey has a responsibility to hundreds of millions of brothers in geographic areas connected with us culturally and historically”, corrupt terrorist Erdoğan underlined. That responsibility means invading the countries where some Turks have migrated!
Corrupt terrorist Erdoğan declared many Greek islands are in a gray area! He refuses to understand that there are gray areas in his brain, not in the Aegean. Turkey is now right back to its usual bullying tactics over the Aegean. For the past five years, the Aegean has witnessed an unprecedented rise in aggressive and provocative behavior by a growingly unstable Turkey, whose politicians openly threaten Greece. The safety and stability of the Aegean isn’t open to debate. The Aegean has been a Greek sea for many millennia, and bewildered Erdoğan cannot change that.
Corrupt terrorist Erdoğan’s stupid declaration caused a strong reaction from European governments, which pointed out the Balkans and Eastern Europe do not belong to Turkey and any other thought is dangerous and unacceptable. The European governments called the corrupt terrorist Turkish President to order, claiming his inflammatory declarations bring the winds of a new Balkan war. The public stirring of historical, and especially border disputes, that have been irrevocably and definitively settled in the Lausanne Treaty by laying down an objective and binding status quo for all, is provocative and undermines the regional stability. The respect of International Law and Treaties warrants the voicing of responsible views detached from outdated revisionisms.
Greek-Turkish relations are a European issue. Those who think that international law is the law of the mighty are wrong. Europeans won’t tolerate it. There is no Turkish republic of Northern Cyprus, there is only invasion and occupation. There is no government entity there. There is no doubt about it. Relations between Greece and Turkey are a European issue. It is good that the European Union realizes that when Greeks are defending their national issues, they are also defending Europe’s. UK, France, Germany, and Italy must send troops to throw the invading Turkish army out of Northern Cyprus.