The south’s President Anastasiades has admitted that the Greek Cypriot side will not accept a rotating presidency. That alone would normally be enough to end the talks. The north’s President Akinci responded by making it clear that if the Greek Cypriot could not accept a Turkish Cypriot being at the head of a ‘United Cyprus’, even for just short periods, then there will be no agreement.
There now is a situation where the two sides have far too many issues where they either disagree or the leaders understand different things about what they say they have agreed on. For example, on the issue of guarantees, one of the leaders has to be wrong because the north’s President Akinci is saying ‘we have not discussed it, it will be taken up in a five-party conference’ and the south’s President Anastasiades says ‘we have surmounted the guarantees’. Which one is true?
There are many such examples to choose from. For example, President Anastasiades says that the solution will be the continuation of the Republic of Cyprus whereas President Akinci insists that the TRNC will become a ‘founding state’. Again, there is absolutely no convergence on the issue of the rotating presidency. Anastasiades says that ‘this cannot happen’ and Akinci that ‘if this does not happen, there will be no solution’.
Even worse, the only clear agreement exists on the property issue where it is being said that ‘the priority for filing an application during the first year will belong to the first property owner’ and that is not something that was received positively in the north.
It is obvious that President Anastasiades is taking these positions on the issues in order to secure a victory for his DISY party in the May elections in the south. The trouble is that Turkey’s stance is that if negotiations end by March that is acceptable but if not the two sides should go their own way. So, either it an agreement or it is separation? It seems obvious to me that the only outcome, based on the current progress, is separation.1 Like