GCC Press Review 6 Oct 2019

Front Page Headlines

Sunday Mail

Turkey ‘holding Europe hostage’

US’ Pompeo condemns move as Ankara confirms ship in Cyprus EEZ

  • Security Council to discuss Varosha on Wednesday
  • Tales from the Coffeeshop: The truth about Nik’s bargain flight?
  • World: EU rejects UK’s request for weekend Brexit talks
  • Comment: Cornered by aggression in the Cyprus EEZ

Simerini

Cyprus Problem shipwreck”

Poll: 79% believe that the two sides are closer to a shipwreck than a solution. Public opinion torn on whether a solution based on a BBF for the Cyprus Problem will be viable, with 51% stating they agree and 48% stating they disagree.

  • Ankara sets up game with Libya and lays hands on Crete and Cyprus
  • Invites by (UNSG) for tripartite in Paris on 12-13 November
  • C. Hambiaouris interview: “The Minister of Education can cooperate with the Church as well”
  • Andros (Kyprianou)-Nicolas (Papadopoulos) meeting: Averof (Neophytou) joins the presidency rumour mill
  • Refugees: Germany’s plans and Turkey’s role
  • Editorial: Betrayed and surrendered
  • Savvas Iakovides: Turk bizonal is certain abolition of the RoC (opinion piece)
  • Yiorgios Kolokasides: Anastasiades in front of the UN (opinion piece)

Politis

We asked for tenders for the jet to New York

How much it costs, how much the Presidential Palace paid and the crucial questions. The average of the two tenders being 320,000 euros, the cost for 17 passengers calculated to about 18,000 per person (instead of 3,500 that was paid). Hourly cost of an airplane is about 13,000 euro instead of the 2,400 that the government says was paid for that particular journey. 60,000 for London.

  • Cypriot EEZ: How Turkey knocked us out – Even if there is a successful or unsuccessful drilling at (block) 7, Turkey will not limit its presence to only one licensed block in the EEZ. Ankara has clearly and openly described how the crisis in the EEZ will develop regarding the results pursued, focusing on four scenarios.
  • Nicolas Papadopoulos: He discovered a narrative to chew on for 2023
  • John Sitilides: Cyprus will not return to pre-1974 state (Interview)
  • Niyazi Kizilyurek: I want TCs to be close to the EU (Interview)

Phileleftheros

A war with… drills as weapons

Turkish advance, consolidation of power and imposition of fait accompli through drilling. Nicosia moves in the field of diplomacy.

  • American foreign secretary: We will not allow Turkey to proceed with illegal drilling –There are limits. The United States will take initiatives.
  • Guterres throws the ball in the court of the sides
  • A cocktail of pressure from Ankara and pseudostate in Brussels
  • Invite by Guterres for a five party conference – First step a three-party meeting in Paris.
  • Erdogan’s plan: Islamising the occupied areas
  • Stephanos Stephanou: Turkey will continue pirate behaviour without a solution
  • Christos Demosthenous: Turkey’s aim is destabilisation
  • The outline and content of a federation
  • Stephanos Constantinides: Britain (opinion piece)
  • Michalis Ignatiou: Islamist Erdogan’s “bullying” (opinion piece)
  • Christos Iakovou: The Taiwan phenomenon and the Cyprus Problem (opinion piece)
  • Yiorgos Vasileiou: Limiting the Presidency to two terms (opinion piece)

Kathimerini

(Akinci:) Three-party and five-party meetings before the end of 2019

M. Akinci interview: “UNSG implied that he will proceed with this work before the new year”

  • Mike Pompeo in Athens for the deal
  • Cyprus Problem: A strategy with ambiguous results
  • Energy: Ankara’s aims in the EEZ
  • Evangelos Apostolakis: Turkish stance in East Mediterranean is dangerous
  • Defence: National Guard moves for new armaments
  • Tsipras as adult on the screen: The Varoufakis “heroic tale” and K. Gavras’ thriller
  • Naturalisation applications decrease: Tower permits stalled
  • Editorial: National Council
  • Petros Zarounas: Yavuz at (block) 7 during a dangerous geopolitical juncture (opinion piece)

Haravgi

Social Alliance demands a roof over everyone’s head

  • World: Stalemates push Erdogan to deeper nationalism
  • AKEL Sec. Gen.: Twofold proposal for dealing with Τurkish pursuits
  • They agree on BBF, disagree on political equality
  • Chinese ambassador: China strongly supports resumption of dialogue
  • AKEL: We serve the prospect of a solution. You?

Alithia

Political equality: The sticking point of the Cyprus Problem

An analysis that sheds light on unknown aspects of our national issue. This is the issue that led to de facto partition, initially in 1964 and completely in 1974. Political equality is defined in Security Council resolutions 750, 774 and 789 from 1992. Political equality will ensure a united state. There is no numerical but qualitative equality that is inherent in the Republic of Cyprus since its establishment when the state was not even federal.

  • Averof: I have no reason to return to the National Council – It has become a place of division
  • Pompeo sends strict message to Turkey: Illegal drillings will not be allowed – France: The new arrival of a Turkish drill in the Cypriot EEZ is a hostile move
  • Christos Panagiotides: The road for a solution seems to be opening up – What are the two sticking points (opinion piece)
  • Alecos Markides: How should we handle developments in the Cyprus Problem and the EEZ (opinion piece)
  • Antis Rodites: What I would tell Makarios if I met him (interview)

Main News

Akinci: UNSG has signalled conferences will happen this year

Kathimerini
Negotiation Process, Energy, Governance & Power Sharing

OVERVIEW

The UN Secretary-General intends to hold both the meeting with the two leaders as well as an unofficial five-party meeting (between the two Cypriot sides and the guarantor powers) before the end of the year, TC leader Mustafa Akinci said in an interview with Kathimerini‘s Nikos Stelgias.

When asked about what lies ahead, Akinci mentioned that the UNSG is likely to send Jane Holl Lute to Cyprus for further discussions. He added that it is likely that there will be a meeting with the UNSG and Anastasiades and that a five-party meeting would soon follow before the new year.

When asked whether the two leaders have reached agreement on the terms of reference at the August 9 meeting of this year, and whether, as the GC side maintains, it was Turkey that prevented that agreement from being sealed, Akinci counterclaimed that in that meeting Anastasiades insisted once again on discussing the Guterres framework as clarified on July 4, 2017.

According to Akinci, Anastasiades suggested discussing the six chapters of the Guterres Framework without referring to a specific date, to which Akinci says he replied that there is a specific mention by the Security Council to the June 30 date. Regarding political equality, Akinci said that Anastasiades insisted on his known position. Akinci also added that the Turkish Cypriot side insisted that the terms of reference include a mention of the UNSG’s position that the practice of open-ended negotiations belongs to the past.

When asked again whether Turkey intervened, Akinci responded that it is unfair to say that it is Turkey that insists on political equality, pointing out that this principle is one of the UN parameters. He repeated that Anastasiades needs to clarify what exactly the GC side wants since he has spoken of two states in Crans Montana, of confederation in New York and of a loose federation with a rotating prime minister when he returned to Cyprus.

Akinci wondered how Anastasiades can accept the existing convergences but reject some of them, namely the principle of one positive vote in the Council of Ministers, or the rotating presidency. Akinci insisted that the two sides discussed the rotating presidency as far as cross voting is concerned, adding that in Mont Pelerin the two sides agreed on the number of ministers from each community and the one positive vote.

Regarding other aspects of power sharing, Akinci mentioned that the discussion had started but that there was no deal when Anastasiades took back his position on the executive.

When asked to clarify his position on effective participation, Akinci stated that the agreement was that the President and the Vice President would have co-decision regarding foreign policy, defence and security. Also, he added, it was decided that one positive vote from each side would be necessary (in cabinet) and that the sides discussed the dispute settlement mechanisms in case of deadlock.

Asked if there can be a way out, Akinci stated that it is possible if the sides stick to the UN parameters. These specify that political equality does not equal numerical equality in all institutions.

Regarding the crisis in the Cypriot EEZ, Akinci said there are three options. The first is to solve the Cyprus Problem before proceeding with exploration. The second is to cooperate since there hasn’t been agreement on a moratorium. Akinci added that the TC side has a proposal along those lines that can be discussed. The third is to proceed with separate activities in the EEZ, adding that that is what is happening now.

KEY ACTORS
Akinci

>> UNSG intends to hold 3 & 5-party meetings before year’s end.
>> Anastasiades still insisted on ‘July 4’ version of Guterres Framework during August 9 bilateral meeting.
>> Turkey’s position to hold a five-party meeting before agreeing to ToR is connected to Anastasiades’ stance.
>> Anastasiades has spoken of two states, confederation and loose federation at different points of time and today needs to clarify what the GC side wants before agreeing on ToR.
>> How can Anastasiades say he accepts past convergences when he rejects positive vote & rotating presidency?
>> If sides stick to UN parameters, can move forward.
>> On gas, sides must either solve Cyprob, or cooperate on hydrocarbons beforehand or else each do their own thing.


Poll: Public opinion torn on whether BBF can function

Simerini
Negotiations Process

OVERVIEW

The majority of Greek Cypriots believes that we are closer to a deadlock in the Cyprus Problem than to a solution, Simerini reports in an article presenting the results of a poll conducted for the newspaper. According to the results printed on the front page of the weekly, 79% believe we are closer to a shipwreck on the Cyprus problem, 16% believe we are closer to a solution and 5% have chosen not to reply or stated they do not know.

The poll, which was conducted by IMR/ University of Nicosia, also finds that 51% of respondents believe that a bizonal bicommunal federation would be viable in Cyprus, and that 48% of the respondents disagree with that statement. When asked, however, whether a two-state solution would benefit both sides, 77% respond negatively. When asked whether they would agree with a confederal solution, 66% respond negatively.

The results presented in the inside pages are more subtle. When asked to evaluate the statement that the status quo serves the Republic of Cyprus, 22% agreed and 75% disagreed. When asked if a solution based on the BBF would benefit both sides, 57% agreed and 41% disagreed.

Responding to a question on whether they follow the recent developments in the Cyprus Problem, 17% said that they follow the developments closely, 44% said that they follow to a significant degree, 27% said that they follow developments just a little and 12% said that they don’t follow at all. Meanwhile, 26% of respondents completely agree with the government’s policy on the Cyprus Problem, 31% partially agree, 26% partially disagree and 14% completely disagree.

When asked whether they were pleased with the President’s speech at the UNGA, 61% responded positively and 35% negatively. When asked if they consider Foreign Minister Nicos Christodoulides’ public discussion with Turkish FM Cavusoglu a correct move, 73% responded with “correct” and 25% labeled it wrong.

Regarding Varosha, when asked to what extent they believe the Turkish side’s intention of reopening the city will impact solution efforts, 29% said “not at all”, 28% said “significantly”, 26% said “a lot” and 17% said “a little”. Around two thirds, 67% believe that Turkey will proceed with opening Varosha and 33% don’t, while 68% believe that the RoC should sanction anyone who cooperates with the TCs in such a case and 32% believe that it shouldn’t.