GCC Press Review 26 Nov 2019

Front Page Headlines


With CPR until the five-party meeting

Guterres’ statement is general and without any timeframe. Anastasiades and Akinci described the trilateral meeting as a positive step. The termination of the Turkish activities in the exclusive, economic zone (EEZ), a precondition for the talks.


Commitment to a new effort

The Berlin dinner kept the process alive. Probe by Guterres for a five-party meeting. The first step has been made, say Anastasiades, Akinci. With the Brandenburg Gate at the background…

  • Uproar over the appointment of a TC at the surveyors’ institution (RICS) – Her activities in the occupied areas concern the sale of GC properties.


Commitment by leaders to solution parameters

Anastasiades-Akinci reaffirmed to the UNSG their commitment to achieving a BBF solution with political equality as well as their commitment to the February 11, 2014, Joint Declaration. The aim is achieving a strategic agreement that will pave the way for a comprehensive solution.

  • Together, GC and TC Famagustians

Cyprus Mail

We’ll keep at it says UN chief

Guterres warns ‘this time must be different’. ‘Frank’ talks but little sign of progress. Will explore a meeting with guarantor powers.


We carry on

Guterres broke the dead end with a balanced text-statement. The main points: Reaffirmation of the BBF, the February 11, 2014 Joint Declaration, convergences and the Guterres Framework, clarification on political equality based on the 1991 Security Council resolution 716, negotiations for a comprehensive settlement in the foreseeable future, continuation of the effort for the Terms of Reference and informal five-party meeting at a time to be set later, in consultations with the guarantor powers and the two leaders. Anastasiades: Despite the known difficulties, the result of today’s meeting is considered as a first positive step to the effort for the restart of the dialogue. Akinci: The train is back on its tracks. Now there is no issue of an open-ended procedure but one aiming at a strategic agreement. It will not be a procedure like in the past.

  • They replaced the Turks – APOEL’s fury over the referees paid off.
  • Turkey: Tests for the S400s with flights over Ankara

Main News

UN gives green light for the continuation of the Cyprob solution efforts

Alithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis
Negotiations Process, Regional/International Relations


The main item in all papers on Tuesday was last night’s working dinner in Berlin between the two leaders and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the agreement for the UN to continue efforts for the Terms of Reference (ToR).

The two leaders, that reaffirmed their commitment to a bizonal, bicommunal federal solution (BBF) with political equality, expressed satisfaction for the outcome.

According to the dailies, after an informal meeting in the form of a working dinner Guterres announced in a statement that he has agreed to extend his efforts “to achieve terms of reference to serve as a consensus starting point for phased, meaningful, and results-oriented negotiations at the earliest feasible opportunity”.

He also said he committed to exploring with the two leaders and the guarantor powers the possibility of convening an informal five-plus-UN meeting at an appropriate stage.

Guterres said that it has been acknowledged that this time must be different, adding that both leaders welcomed his engagement and reaffirmed their commitment and determination to achieve a settlement based on a BBF with political equality as set out in the relevant Security Council resolutions.

“The Turkish Cypriot leader and the Greek Cypriot leader, motivated by a sense of urgency, agreed that achieving a comprehensive and durable settlement to the Cyprus problem within a foreseeable horizon is of utmost importance to the future well-being of both communities and that the status quo is unsustainable,” he said. He added that the two leaders affirmed their commitment to the Joint Declaration of February 11, 2014, the prior convergences and the six-point framework he presented on June 30, 2017 in Crans-Montana.

After the meeting, Anastasiades said there had been a creative consultation effort throughout the day on behalf of the negotiators and UN special envoy Jane Holl Lute that led, with the consent of Guterres and the two leaders, to the elements included in the joint announcement issued by the UN.

“Despite the known difficulties the result of today’s meeting is deemed as a first positive step in the effort to restart the dialogue,” Anastasiades said. He added it was important that the UN Secretary-General reiterated his determination to continue, in cooperation with the two leaders and the guarantors, the effort for an informal five-party meeting whose task would be the agreement on the terms of reference that will allow the repetition of a targeted and creative dialogue that would lead to a viable and functional solution.

Anastasiades also pointed out the convergence of positions of the two leaders on the main parameters which will govern the sought solution namely the three points mentioned in the UN statement.

Concluding, he said that it goes without saying that for substantive talks to restart, beyond an agreement on the terms of reference, Turkey must end her illegal activities at the expense of the Republic of Cyprus, any threats to settle Famagusta or any threats for faits accomplis in the buffer zone.

Akinci too said he found the outcome of the meeting to be positive and that the process which had been derailed was back on track, but that there was still much work that needed to be done.

He also expressed satisfaction that there was a reference to political equality and that the process has to be results-oriented.

The dailies report that the EU, Germany, France and the UK welcomed the trilateral meeting and conveyed their full support to efforts for a solution to the Cyprus problem.

Politis reported that the statement was a desperate attempt to keep the Cyprus problem process alive while it does not give any timeframes. The process will be put on ice until spring, the paper reported.

Citing sources, the daily reported that efforts for the ToR will now be up to the guarantors while no developments are expected at the moment due to the ‘elections’ in the occupied areas, the instability in the UK due to Brexit and the elections and Turkey’s illegal activities in the area.

Sources within the GC side told the daily that there was no issue of discussing TC effective participation and political equality separately from other parameters of the Guterres Framework and this seems to be understood by the UN Secretary-General.

All issues of the Framework will be discussed as a package and in accordance with the Security Council resolutions, namely 716 (1991), the daily reports.

According to the paper, the temperature in Berlin was near zero degrees which was indicative also of the climate between the two sides throughout the course to the trilateral and the dinner with Guterres.

Phileleftheros too reports that the process remains alive though no substantive development is expected in the coming months. It also cites the same reasons as Politis as to the freezing of the process adding that Turkey’s reluctance to deal with the Cyprus problem at the moment is one of them.

As to whether Lute will remain as Guterres’ special envoy on the Cyprus issue, this will depend on the UNSG’s decision, the paper said.

Haravgi, citing sources, reports that the reference to the continuation of the effort for an agreement on the ToR outlines the framework within which the solution effort will take place. Nicosia does not see any prospect for the continuation of Lute’s mandate within this framework, the paper reports.

For Alithia, Guterres’ balanced statement gives a new push to efforts for the restart of the process for the solution of the Cyprus problem since it addresses concerns by both sides.

Cyprus Mail reports that the carefully worded but bland statement from the UN chief confirmed the general feeling that little was to be expected from the meeting.

Guterres (UN)
Agrees to continue efforts for ToR that will be the base for results-oriented negotiations the soonest possible & probe the possibility of an informal five-plus-UN meeting with the two leaders and the guarantor powers.
>> This time things must be different.
>> Anastasiades and Akinci reaffirmed their commitment & determination for a BBF solution with political equality as per relevant SC resolutions & affirmed their commitment to the 2014 Joint Declaration, prior convergences and the six-point Guterres Framework.
>> Leaders agreed that the status quo is unsustainable & that a comprehensive and durable settlement to the Cyprob within a foreseeable horizon is of utmost importance to the future well-being of both communities.

Finds that the consultation between Lute and the  two negotiators that led to the content of the UN statement was a creative one.
>> Despite the known difficulties the Berlin meeting’s outcome was a first positive step in the effort to restart the dialogue, but substantive talks can only resume when Turkey terminates her illegal activities at the expense of the RoC.
>> Finds important that Guterres agreed to continue efforts for an informal five-party meeting aimed at reaching an agreement on the ToR that will pave the way to a viable and functional solution.
>> Points out that there has been convergence of his and Akinci’s positions on the main parameters which will govern the sought solution; 2014 Joint Declaration, convergences & GF.

 Finds the meeting outcome to be positive since the process is now back on track but more needs to be done.
>> Satisfied by reference to political equality & agreement that the process has to be results-oriented.

Reactions over RICS appointment of TC believed selling GC properties in north

Property, Human Rights


According to the daily the appointment of a TC to one of the boards of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Cyprus, stirred reactions after information her activities in the north include the sale of GC properties.

The woman’s appointment took place during the replacement recently of five members who left the Cyprus-based RICS. In total 260 persons from various real estate sectors from all over Cyprus were eligible to express interest in the five vacant positions. Among the successful candidates was also a TC whose selection stirred reactions mainly due to her activities in the occupied areas with many asking for her replacement citing failure of the body’s presidency to investigate whether she was breaking the law or not as regards the sale of GC properties in the north.

Those against the TC woman’s appointment argued that prior to 1974, there were no TCs living in Karmi, Lapithos and Kyrenia whereas the percentage of TC properties in the occupied areas is very small, the paper reports.

Members threatened to take measures unless the presidency reverses its decision for the appointment of the woman.

French support to efforts in locating missing persons

CBMs, Human Rights, Regional/International Relations


The paper reports that French Ambassador to Nicosia Isabelle Dumont pledged her country’s support to efforts by the Republic of Cyprus as regards missing persons.

The ambassador, following a meeting with Presidential Commissioner Photis Photiou, underlined her country’s support to the efforts undertaken by the Republic of Cyprus to resolve the matter of establishing the fate of each missing person, expressing at the same time France’s wish and readiness to contribute towards this direction.

During the meeting, Photiou briefed Dumont on the problems stemming from Turkey’s stance as regards the resolution of this humanitarian matter and referred in particular to the drop in numbers as regards the discovery of remains. He asked for France’s help at the EU and UN levels so that pressure can be exerted on Turkey to constructively contribute to the resolution of this humanitarian problem, the paper reported.

Photiou stressed that Turkey must grant unhindered access to military zones, all the information in its military archives, as well as to provide information on burial sites were remains were moved to after being intentionally relocated from where they were initially buried, the paper reported.

APOEL has Turkish referees for his UEFA match switched

Alithia, Haravgi
Regional/International Relations


The dailies report that APOEL FC was not happy after finding out that the referees for its UEFA Europa League match on Thursday in Luxemburg with Dudelange FC would be from Turkey.

Alithia reported that UEFA announced on Monday morning that the referee for the match in question would be Halis Ozkahya with assistants his compatriots Ceyhun Sesiguzel, Ekrem Kan and  Alper Ulusoy.

APOEL’ s spokesman Nektarios Petevinos said this was a first as never before a Turkish national refereed a European match in which a Cypriot team was playing. He said the club was concerned.

Petevinos also said they did not want to politicise football but they would contact UEFA arguing that the European football authority had shown understanding in similar cases in the past concerning Russia, Ukraine and other countries.

After APOEL’s intervention the Turkish referee team was switched with an Italian one, Alithia reports.

Translate »