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A just solution for Cyprus with the people as protagonists

Published in Rizospastis on 20/7/2014



Since 1974 and the Turkish invasion and occupation of Cyprus, a significant number of plans regarding the “solution of the Cyprus Issue”, a large number of negotiations have taken place, up until today  with the involvement of the UN, the US, EU, of the Greek governments, cultivating an environment of euphoria for a viable and just solution, especially with the Cyprus' accession to the EU.


The essence is that 40 years later the problem remains, it is perpetuated and today we are facing a new dichotomous plan


After 1974, the main agreements and plans for the “solution of the Cyprus issue” are the following:


A. High Level Agreement between Archbishop Makarios and Turkish-Cypriot Rauf Denktash, in February 1977.


B. High-level agreement between Spyros Kyprianou and Turkish-Cypriot Rauf Denktash, in March 1979.


C. Package of measures by the UN General Secretary Boutros Ghali, in December 1993.


These plans did not produce a solution and, in November 2002, the UN GS Kofi Annan presented the first “Annan Plan” which the Cypriot government accepted as a basis for discussion.


D. Through negotiations, blackmails, compromises, a final (fifth) plan was prepared which was put to a referendum in April 2004, both to the Turkish-Cypriot community (where it was approved) and to the Greek-Cypriot community where it was rejected by 75.83%.


In essence, it was a dichotomous plan which legitimized the fait accompli of the invasion and occupation of Cyprus, with the intervention of the American and European imperialists.


The plan provided the establishment of a confederal state (“United Cyprus Republic”) with two federal-component statelets.


It did not provide either the return of refugees or any compensation for their property which had been appropriated. Tens of thousands Turkish settlers would remain in Cyprus. A part of the Turkish army would remain in the island having the right to intervene in the “south”.


It perpetuated the status of the guarantor powers (Greece, Turkey, G. Britain), even giving them the right of military intervention.


It established a Supreme Court to address the differences between the three state bodies, containing in its composition three non-Cypriot citizens.


The status of the British bases remained in force.


The KKE opposed the “Annan Plan” and denounced it; in favor of the plan were PASOK, Synaspismos, as well as New Democracy which kept an opportunistic, “diplomatic” stance.


E. Agreement between the President of the Republic T. Papadopoulos and Turkish-Cypriot Talat on July 8, 2006.


On February 2008, the General Secretary of AKEL D. Christofias was elected President of Cyprus and on March 2008, new negotiations began on the basis of the Joint Declaration between Christofias-Talat.


On April 2010, D.Eroglu was elected President in the occupied territories.


From the beginning of his duties, Eroglu showed his intentions, stating that in the new state “the constituent states are sovereign” and these “will have the right to make agreements with other states without these agreements being transferred to the federal government”.


Regarding the latest developments.


The negotiations continued between D.Christofias and Eroglu and were frozen in March 2012 when the President of the pseudo-state withdrew himself from the direct talks. Until then, a document of convergences/divergences of the period 2008-2012 had been formed, describing the approaches and the disagreements.


On February 2013, the president of Democratic Rally (DHSY) N.Anastasiadis was elected President of Cyprus and on February 11, 2014 the joint statement between N.Anastasiadis- Eroglu on the beginning of new peace talks was issued.


It is a process associated with systematic interventions by the US and  EU which aim iat promoting a solution connected to the most effective- for the monopoly interests- exploitation of the hydrocarbons, but also promoting the more general imperialist plans in the region (Syria, Palestine, Iraq, Iran, etc.).


Regarding the Anastasiadis-Eroglu declaration.


The joint declaration's “core” is based on the logic of the “Annan Plan”.


In fact, it has to do with a confederation-based, dichotomous solution that provides a “federal state” and two sovereign “constituent states”, with a tripartite sovereignty and citizenship, thus legalizing the fait accompli of the Turkish invasion and occupation.


It should be noted that the position for “constituent states” was neither included in the joint declaration of Makarios-Denktash in 1977, nor in the joint declaration Kyprianos-Denktash in 1979. That position appears in the “Annan Plan” and isn't included in the Papadopoulos-Talat agreement of 8 July 2006. (The position) reappears in the joint statement between Christofias-Talat and, as it is noted in a declaration by AKEL, “the reference to 'constituent states' was included in the joint statements of Christofias and Talat but in process, when we ascertained bad-faith interpretations by the Turkish-Cypriot side, it was altered in the documents of convergences/divergences.”


Also, it is important to mention that the position for a “bizonal-bicommunal federation”, which is the basis of all negotiations through the years, has caused at times discussions regarding the issue of bizonality. And that because, while this position appeared as a point of compromise in order to overcome the insistence of the Turkish/ Turkish-Cypriot side about the “two states”, it was later used as a position of “principle” and was utilized both in the “Annan Plan”, as well as today in order to cover the dichotomous solution.


The persistence of the Cypriot presidency to show that the joint statement ensures the triptych “one sovereignty, one citizenship and one international personality” is disputed in practice by the fact of the “two constituent states”.


Moreover, the reference to the “residual authority” that the two “constituent states” will exercise in relation to the powers of the federal states is evidence which demonstrates that it is a confederal solution.


The problem is very serious and cannot be bypassed by the assurances of the Cypriot government which argues that, after agreeing on the responsibilities of the federal government, the remaining powers (the residual authority) is conferred by the federal constitution to the states, that means the “constituent states”.


Practically, the powers of the “constituent states” may apply for central government issues, even in foreign policy which would reduce or negate the “single international personality”.


The position of the parties.


AKEL argues that the joint statement is behind the “convergences” that resulted from the Christofias-Talat negotiations and advocates in favor of the talks with preconditions.


In a relevant statement, on 16 June, amongst other things, AKEL evaluates that “However, the gap continues to widen and this causes justifiable concerns …The responsibility for the situation that has evolved lies with Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side... It is obvious that the Turkish Cypriot side’s aim is twofold: On the one hand, the complete disengagement from the convergences and to apportion the responsibility on the Greek Cypriot side. In pursuing this aim it is assisted by the President of the Republic’s unwillingness to continue negotiating from where we had left off with the Christofias-Talat convergences.”.


EDEK, “Citizens Alliance” and DIKO have expressed their opposition towards the joint statements,.


In Greece, the government has expressed itself in favor of the joint statement. The Greek government is a supporter of the so-called “x-shaped” talks (meetings of the Greek government with Turkish-Cypriots and of the Turkish government with Greek-Cypriots), which consist a form of a “quartet” that undermines the international character of the Cyprus Issue and places it within the framework of the Greek-Turkish relations thus downgrading the unified character of the “Republic of Cyprus”.


Meanwhile, SYRIZA, which is integrated in the game of false expectations regarding the role of the EU, changes from time to time its stance and in a relevant decision of the Political Secretariat stated that: “Because the joint statement includes uncertainties and grey zones”, SYRIZA maintains serious doubts about the final outcome.


The basic axes of the KKE position.


The Cyprus Issue is an international problem of invasion and occupation of the northern part of Cyprus by Turkey. It carries the stamp of the US, NATO and of the general imperialist plans in the region. The international character (of the Cyprus Issue) has been referred to in the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.

The KKE Demands the withdrawal of the occupying forces and the elimination of the consequences of the 1974 Turkish invasion generally, the return of the refugees to their homes, the end of settlements and the withdrawal of settlers except from cases related to humanitarian reasons.

The KKE considers that the effective direction of the struggle for the working class and the popular strata is the direction for a Cyprus where the master will be its people, Greek-Cypriots and Turkish-Cypriots, Armenians, Latins and Maronites.

A unified, independent Cyprus, with one and only sovereignty, citizenship and international personality, without foreign bases and troops, without foreign guarantors and protectors.

On the occasion of the publication of the Anastasiadis-Eroglu agreement (11/2/14), the KKE issued a statement which is still relevant and stresses that our Party will oppose solutions of – open or hidden- partition which in the past have been rejected by the Cypriot people themselves. It will support the struggle for the just solution of the Cyprus Question, to the benefit of all the working people, Greek-Cypriots and Turkish-Cypriots.

It will continue to promote the only realistic pro-people way out for Greece and Cyprus, which is the disengagement from the EU, the socialization of wealth, with the people in power.


The course of negotiations.


Since May 6, 2014, when the phase of “substantive talks” began, until today, meetings between Anastasiadis and Eroglu have been held, as well as several meetings between the negotiators Andreas Mavrogiannis and Kudret Ozersay.


According to reports, the issues concerning the property matter, the executive and legislative power, the powers of the federal government etc have been put on the table. But the Greek-Cypriot side complains because the Turkish-Cypriot one hasn't submitted proposals on all issues.


We can say that the expectations cultivated amongst the Cypriot people and generally are not based on actual facts. The statements of the Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan in November 2013 that “there is no state in the world with the name 'Cyprus'”, as well as several similar statements which are associated with the persistence of the Turkish/ Turkish-Cypriot side in coming to a dichotomous solution, show the scale of the problem. Already, in the northern part of Cyprus an Exclusive Economic Zone has been declared and the Turkish provocations in the region continue.


On 14 July, the meeting of the Cyprus National Council discussed the Turkish intransigence and pointed out the difficulties for the “Third Phase” of the talks; the phase called “give-take”.


Basic conclusions.


First: In recent years, the UN proposals do not address the Cyprus issue as an international problem, as a problem of invasion and occupation, but move towards a confederal solution.


It turned out that the claims that the accession of Cyprus to the EU will provide a solution to the Cyprus problem, cultivated illusions about the imperialist character of the EU, which aims to  the defend and extend the interests of the European monopolies and the exploitation of workers.


The invocation of the so called "European values" and the "acquis communautaire" by the Cypriot government is an element of the efforts to mislead the Cypriot people, it facilitates the EU intervention for the imposition a dichotomous solution, as the imperialist “predatory alliance” did with the support of the "Annan Plan '.

The attitude of the EU, following the detection of natural gas deposits in the EEZ of Cyprus, aims at controlling the energy wealth by setting up a controlled "Mediterranean EEZ”, and through a compromise on the Cyprus Issue, something which would allow the exploitation of hydrocarbons as well as ensure the supply of the EU with gas, within the aim to reduce energy dependence on Russia.


In order to secure the interests of the monopolies and maintain balance within NATO both the EU and the US, there is a strengthening of the position for “co-exploitation” of the energy resources of Cyprus by Greece and Turkey. While, at the same time, they upgrade the northern occupied part of Cyprus as a state entity, an issue that complicates the situation even more.


Lately the efforts to prettify the US- NATO role have increased and their "contribution" in the search for a solution is promoted.


This approach is very dangerous.


The role of the US and NATO in the imposition of the dictatorship in Greece, in 1967 and Cyprus in 1974, the support for Turkey's invasion, is part of the general practice of American and European imperialism in the region. And the political forces that cultivate confusion bear great responsibilities.


Despite the effort to create a climate of euphoria during the visit of US Vice President Biden to Cyprus in May, it became apparent that the interests of the US is not about a fair solution to the Cyprus problem but the promotion of American economic and political interests.


Also, the strengthening of economic, political and military relations between Cyprus and Israel, such as the creation of the Israel - Greece – Cyprus axis include dangers for greater involvement of Cyprus and Greece in the tangle of inter-imperialist antagonisms.


Approximately 10 years ago, false hopes had been cultivated that the accession of Cyprus to the EU will lead to a just solution of the Cyprus Issue. Today, hopes are cultivated that the hydrocarbons are a "solution tool" for Cyprus. However, life shows that in capitalist conditions the energy sources are subject to a severe struggle between monopolies and imperialist powers. Not accidentally the energy roads have been stained and are still being stained with the blood of the people.


The celebrations about the hydrocarbons and energy agreements between Cyprus - Greece - Israel, have no relation to the interests of the people. The monopolies, which will reap the exploitation of the gas and oil, will be benefited, as international experience has demonstrated. And this element can be the basis of a substantive discussion on the nature of development, for the road that can ensure the utilization of the productive potential of natural resources for the benefit of the working class, the popular strata. A critical issue that is incompatible with every kind of capitalism management solutions that have been tested in Cyprus too, because what determines the developments is which class has the power and the means of production in its hands.


Second: A part of the bourgeoisie of Cyprus seeks a "solution" that will facilitate its business activities in the occupied territories, even with partition. On the other hand, there is a part that directly or indirectly rejects any solution, believing that this would increase the penetration of Turkish capital in the whole of Cyprus.


A part of Cyprus' bourgeoisie aims for the further integration of the island into the imperialist organization of NATO, using as a first step the so-called "Partnership for Peace". This option has been announced by Anastasiadis' government and leads to the further integration of Cyprus into the  imperialist plans.


The problems which, until now, have prevented a solution to the Cyprus Issue in favor of the people remain and the fact that any solution which moves towards the legitimization of the results of the invasion and occupation will be a permanent source for the outbreak of the antagonisms and conflicts at the expense of the peoples of the region.


Giorgos Marinos


Member of the PB of the CC of the KKE