GCC Press Review 7 Oct 2019

Front Page Headlines

Politis

Green light” for three-party meeting in Paris

President has given a positive reply to the sounding out by UN. Nikos Dendias in Nicosia today for deliberations. Resounding condemnation of Turkish acts by US, Russia, France, Italy, Egypt.

  • Brexit: Johnson is determined

Phileleftheros

Diplomacy regarding piracy

Nicosia intensifies backroom efforts against Turkish raids. President positive on Guterres’ call for a tripartite meeting.

  • Suggests deterrence measures: Kotzias intensely criticises handling

Haravgi

Concerns over tension in the EEZ

Russia: Avoid destabilising actions. Egypt: Warns that unilateral actions have consequences. Intense backroom diplomatic activity.

  • Pancyprian Peace Council, an institution with a deep history, turns 70
  • Greek FM in Cyprus today, will brief and coordinate with President Anastasiades
  • Andros Kyprianou and Averof Neophytou visit Brussels in the shadow of “direct trade”

Alithia

Mobilisation over direct trade with occupied areas

Dangers ahead. The Europeans decide on Thursday. The majority is against us. Lefteris Christophorou: Extensive efforts made to deter negative developments in cooperation with the European People’s Party. Averof Neophytou has contacts in Brussels.

  • For the coordination of Athens and Nicosia ahead of the Foreign Affairs Council: Nikos Dendias urgently in Cyprus – He arrives today and meets with Anastasiades and Christodoulides – Condemnation of Turkey over illegal acts in the Cypriot EEZ continues.
  • Sunday Times: Johnson will tell Queen “Come kick me out”
  • Furore (and a diplomatic incident) in Turkey over a ‘like’ by the US embassy to a message supporting Fettulah Gulen

Main News

Anastasiades agrees to potential trilateral

Alithia, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis
Negotiations Process, Energy, External Security, Regional/ International Relations

OVERVIEW

Phileleftheros and Politis both report on a potential agreement for a meeting of the UNSG and the two Cypriot leaders in Paris, as well as on the visit of Greek FM to Nicosia as the Republic of Cyprus intensifies its diplomatic activity ahead of next week’s European Council. Phileleftheros puts the stress on the government’s diplomatic activity while Politis focuses on reports that the President has signalled to the UNSG that he is positive to a trilateral meeting in Paris.

According to Phileleftheros, the next steps in the Cyprus Problem are the meeting in Paris as well as a possible meeting of the Cypriot sides with the guarantor powers in December. The newspaper expects UN envoy Jane Holl Lute to visit the island in the next few days, aiming to try once again to get a deal on the terms of reference. Phileleftheros also reports on Anastasiades’ call to French President Emannuel Macron, as well as on the reactions issued by the US, Russia and Egypt.

In a separate story, former Greek FM Nikos Kotzias states to Phileleftheros that the current Greek government is not taking all the necessary actions to protect Cyprus. Greece, he adds, needs to take specific diplomatic initiatives to prevent a “second occupation of Cyprus after 1974” regarding the country’s EEZ.

KEY ACTORS
Judith Garber (US ambassador in Nicosia)
>> Any activity in international waters is governed by rules. We have made it clear to Turkey that such actions are unacceptable.

Russian Foreign Ministry
>> We urge to refrain from steps leading to destabilisation and build up of a potential crisis in the East. Mediterranean, scrictly adhere to the principles of international law and strive to resolve disputed issues exclusively by peaceful means.

Egyptian Foreign Ministry
>> Reaffirms the rights and sovereignty of the RoC over its resources in the Eastern Mediterranean, in accordance with international law. Warns of the repercussion of the continuation of any unilateral measures that violate Cyprus’ rights and threaten security and stability in the region.


The issue of direct trade returns to the agenda

Alithia, Haravgi
EU Matters, CBMs

OVERVIEW

The leaders of AKEL and DISY, Andros Kyprianou and Averof Neophytou, will be in Brussels and will discuss the possible resumption of the discussion on the proposal for establishing direct trade between the EU and the Turkish Cypriot community.

The issue will be discussed on Thursday, in the conference of presidents of the political groups of the European Parliament, according to both Alithia and Haravgi. Haravgi notes that the issue has remained dormant in the past few years due to the ongoing efforts for reunification. According to the newspaper, the issue was stirred up by the European People’s Party (EPP), of which DISY is a member, when the group requested the proposal be permanently shelved, which caused the Socialist and the Green groups to request a reopening of the discussion. Haravgi adds that EPP will insist on shelving the proposal but that the group is open to freezing the discussion, while GUE (the group in which AKEL participates) will support the standard RoC position that the issue should not be touched upon.

Alithia reports that the issue of direct trade was reanimated by the EPP with the support of small groups from the left and the far right. DISY MEP Lefteris Christoforou has said in a statement to Alithia that the EPP’s position remains that the proposal should be shelved permanently and that DISY is taking action to prevent its revival.