Cyprus Talks | What’s Missing From the CBM List

Cyprus Talks | What's Missing From the CBM ListThe south’s President Anastasiades yesterday handed the National Council a list of Confidence Building Measures (CBM) which had been discussed with the north’s President Akinci. It was immediately leaked to the press:

  • The creation of a peace park, market bazaar or industrial area in the buffer zone
  • Extending the Pediaos river path to the north
  • To create a common space for cultural activity with a crossing at Paphos gate to attract visitors
  • Opening all crossings in the walled city of Nicosia
  • Reinforcement of the technical committees
  • Conservation of religious sites
  • Establishment of a committee for culture
  • Establishment of a committee on gender issues
  • Reinforcement of the committee on missing persons (CMP)
  • Improvement of the daily life of the enclaved Greek Cypriots in the breakaway state in providing health care, and also the renovation of the food storage building in Rizokarpasso
  • Opening crossings at Kaimakili, Dherynia, Pomos-Kato Pyrgos-Kokkina, Potamos-Kampou, and Lefka
  • Reducing military forces along the ceasefire line
  • Avoiding interference in radio frequencies
  • Solving outstanding issues relating to commercial vehicles to facilitate the Green Line Regulation while removing all barriers to trade between both sides
  • To allow access to experts to reconstruct and preserve cultural and religious monuments in Famagusta
  • Translating the website of the Financial Commissioner into Turkish
  • Linking of the electricity grids in three stages

A quick look brings no real excitement, even the reducing troops measure only applies to the ceasefire line. That could be solved by building huts for the same troops a few hundred meters from the line. It would take them a few seconds to travel to the line in case of trouble but I doubt that would make them any less effective. Those who no longer patrolled the line could easily be replaced by electronic surveillance.

What the list needs are measures with bite, the most obvious two being:

  • Direct Flights
  • Opening of Maras/Varosha

I’m sure this second list could quite easily be added to by readers but the chance of these measures ever being seriously considered by the Two Presidents is near zero. The situation has reached the stage where the first President to offer anything exciting will be attacked by their side as giving too much away; a political career death sentence.

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