GCC Press Review 27 Nov 2019

Front Page Headlines


The list with the 26 ‘grey’ passports

Ten Russians, eight Cambodians, five Chinese, two Kenyans and a Malaysian. Their CV is rich in cases concerning money laundering, violations of human rights. All the names that are being probed for their naturalisation.

  • Now, reshuffling-‘elections’ – Back to ‘normalcy’ after the trilateral.


Ankara’s silence says a lot

The next step is unsure. Five-party meeting up to Turkey’s judgement. The pseudo-government in the occupied areas also ignores the Berlin meeting.

  • Protest letters to (EP President David) Sassoli by DISY, EDEK
  • His jaw is ‘hanging’ but they keep him on hold – State indifference for war disabled.


It is important that there is continuation and consistency

The AKEL leader points out that the solution of the Cyprus problem must not take long, adding that after the trilateral, it is important for the two leaders to put their weight, through their rhetoric and initiatives, behind explaining the necessity and the advantages for all Cypriots from the reunification of our common homeland.

  • (1974) Disabled standing by with risks for their lives

Cyprus Mail

Sticking to party lines over Berlin

Disy and Akel voice guarded optimism, others poor cold water on UNSG meeting.

  • Russia hopes to Russia hopes to agree new S-400 deal with Turkey


Positives and negatives

The results of the Berlin trilateral through the parties’ lens. DISY and AKEL welcomed with relief the trilateral’s results despite not being happy by non-agreement on the Terms of Reference. The parties of the rejectionist centre nullify even the things they assess as negative. They express disappointment and concern.

  • How they assess the Berlin dinner in the occupied areas – Comments, statements, articles.

Main News

FM: Berlin outcome was the maximum one could expect given the circumstances

Phileleftheros, Politis
Negotiations Process


The government appears satisfied from the Berlin meeting results although no developments are expected in the near future, the dailies report.

Phileleftheros reports that Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides said on Tuesday that what was achieved in Berlin was the maximum given the circumstances.

He explained that the UN Secretary-General believes that if the six points contained in his framework are reached, this will not mean reaching a solution, but to a point where the remaining issues to be resolved are not capable of preventing a possible solution.

In the case Turkey does not accept the result of the meeting, Christodoulides said the UN Secretary-General will have to take a stand.

On criticism on the EU’s absence from the meeting, Christodoulides said that it was an informal one but in the case the talks restart the EU will be present and represented at the highest level.

Phileleftheros also reports that the Greek foreign ministry said the trilateral was a positive step towards efforts for the solution of the Cyprus problem.

The ministry’s spokesman, Alexandros Gennimatas, said the Cyprus problem remains a top priority for the Greek foreign policy and that the meeting reaffirmed the commitment to the need for a solution based on UN Security Council resolutions.

He also pointed out the need for a speedy solution to the problem, giving reassurances that Greece, as always, is ready and available to contribute to the UN Secretary-General’s efforts.

According to Phileleftheros, Turkey’s silence is a message that it ignored the Berlin meeting and that the Cyprus problem is not in her priorities and will not deal with it until she decides to do so. This is also a message of indignation towards Akinci ahead of the so-called elections, the paper said, adding that the pseudo-government in the north is doing the same since there was also no reaction from Ankara’s chosen ones in the north.

Government circles in Nicosia said that there cannot be a full assessment of the Berlin meeting until there is an official position by Turkey on the matter. Basically, the ball is now in Ankara’s court the sources said, according to Phileleftheros.

The daily also reports that the same circles said that basically, the ToR have been recorded in Berlin without this being openly said since the text refers to the three pillars of the Akinci-Anastasiades meeting of August 9 which is deemed as the basis and the main ingredient of the ToR.

The Guterres statement turns down attempts by Turkey for seeking a solution model, and the presentation of TC positive vote as the equivalent of political equality but also presenting political equality as a precondition for the restart of the talks, the sources said.

Politis reports that both sides want to give the impression that the trilateral and its results were a positive thing for both of them but it was not possible for a full agreement to be announced on the Terms of Reference nor details have been given on when and where the five-party meeting would take place. It seems the agreement on the ToR is being referred to a possible informal five-party meeting which is what Turkey wanted, the paper reported. Citing GC sources the daily reports there no discussion on natural gas despite, according to the TC media, Akinci had brought the issue up.

Nicos Anastasiades is now focused on his government’s reshuffling, he is expected on making announcements within the coming days, while Mustafa Akinci will now enter the ‘election’ race after earning some positive points as regards issues of substance and procedure on the Cyprus problem, Politis reports.

The maximum possible result was achieved in Berlin, given the circumstances.
>> Even if there is agreement on all six-points of the GF, this will not mean a solution but rather that all pending issues are not capable of preventing a possible solution.
>> The UNSG will have to take a stand if Turkey does not accept the result of the meeting.
>> The EU will be present when the talks resume.

Gennimatas (Greek foreign ministry)
The Berlintrilateral was a positive step towards efforts for the solution of the Cyprob which is a top priority for the Greek foreign policy.
>> Points out to the need for a speedy solution to the Cyprob.
>> Greece, as always, is ready and available to contribute to the UNSG’s efforts.

GC parties see mostly negatives in trilateral results

Alithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis
Negotiations Process


All dailies report on the reaction by parties on the outcome of the Berlin meeting with only ruling DISY and main opposition AKEL sticking more to the positive aspects while the rest of the parties expressing disagreement on many aspects of the UN announcement.

DISY leader Averof Neophytou said though the talks failed to yield an agreement on the Terms of Reference for future fully-fledged negotiations, the Berlin meeting is a start. He said the statements by the UN and the two leaders “create at least a cautious optimism, opening a window for the Cyprus problem.”

He also said that while he would have preferred for the informal five-party meeting to take place as soon as possible, in the presence of the guarantor powers, he did not think that this was happening any time soon.

For AKEL leader Andros Kyprianou, the reference to a bizonal, bicommunal federation (BBF) was a positive point arguing that this development would keep at bay any thoughts for a two-state solution or a confederation. He assessed as negative that there has not been any agreement on the ToR and that the informal five-party meeting would probably take place after April 2020 citing the risks the election of another TC leader posed to efforts to solve the Cyprus issue.

DIKO’s deputy chairperson Christiana Erotokritou found as positive that the interpretation by the UN on political equality but also the reference to a BBF solution but argued that it must have the “right content.”

She also said the result does not lead to the right solution and allows Turkey to act unhindered.

Erotokritou also said her party does not agree with the acceptance of the Guterres Framework, while nitpicked Guterres’ language, lamenting his reference to an “unsustainable status quo” rather than “unacceptable status quo.” On Guterres’ comment that said “that this time must be different,”  Erotokritou said it opens a big window for Turkey to bring to the table anything it wants – such as a confederation of two states – in the event of a deadlock.

EDEK welcomed the UN’s continued engagement in the Cyprus issue but said the trajectory for future talks is discouraging. EDEK objected to the intended convocation of a five-way meeting and called for an international convention on Cyprus.

For the Greens the Berlin meeting was a PR stunt by both leaders and that it produced nothing new. “One of them went there to ‘close mouths’ on the internal front, and the other to increase his chances of being re-elected head of the pseudo-state,” the party said in a statement. It said that substantive steps can take place only if Turkey modifies its stance and conduct. The party expressed hope that Turkey’s intransigence can be curbed, paving the way for the resumption of negotiations, adding that this wish remains a romantic dream as long as Turkey pursues its expansionist policies and Erdogan carries on like an arrogant neo-Sultan.

The Solidarity Movement said it found nothing positive.

ELAM said it feels justified by the result since the party had predicted that any effort based on the specific framework was doomed to fail. Any developments were pushed back as per Turkey’s wish allowing her to create new faits accomplis in the Cypriot EEZ and Varosha, the party said.

The papers also reported on reactions by parties in the north.

Neophytou (DISY)
The Berlin meeting with the statements by the UN & the two leaders creating a cautious optimism and opening a window for the Cyprob, despite the failure for an agreement on the ToR.
>> He would have liked for the five-party meeting to take place as soon as possible, though this is not happening.

Kyprianou (AKEL)
>> Reference to BBF is positive since it wards off ideas for a two-state solution or a confederation but failure to reach agreement on ToR a negative point.
>> Concerned that five-party meeting will probably take place after April 2020 since the possible election of a new TC leader could make efforts to solve the Cyprob more difficult.

Erotokritou (DIKO)
The interpretation by the UN on political equality & reference to a BBF are positive points but the BBF has to have the right content.
>> Overall, the trilateral’s result does not lead to the right solution & allows Turkey to act unhindered.
>> Disagrees with acceptance by Anastasiades to GF.
>> Guterres should have said in his announcement that the status quo is unacceptable rather than unsustainable while the phrase “this time must be different,” opens a big window for Turkey to bring to the table anything it wants – such as a confederation of two states – in the event of a deadlock.

Welcomes the UN’s continued engagement in the Cyprob but feels chances for future talks are discouraging.
>> An international convention on Cyprus is preferable than a five-party meeting.

Nothing new came out of the Berlin meeting which was more of a PR stunt so that Anastasiades could silence criticism on the internal front and Akinci to increase his re-election chances.
>> Only when Turkey changes her stance and conduct there could be actual developments but this is a romantic dream as long as Turkey pursues its expansionist policies & Erdogan carries on like an arrogant neo-Sultan.

Solidarity Movement
Does not see anything positive from the meeting.

Feels justified by the result since it had predicted that any effort based on the specific framework was doomed to fail.
>> That there will be no developments for now per Turkey’s wish, gives Ankara time to create new faits accomplis in the Cypriot EEZ and Varosha.

Nicosia, MEPs lambast Sassoli over meeting with Turkish FM

EU Matters


The paper reports that the DISY and EDEK MEPs sent letters to the President of the European Parliament David Sassoli seeking explanations over his provocative move, to meet with the Turkish foreign minister earlier in the month despite the political sanctions enforced by the EU against Ankara over her illegal activities in the Cypriot EEZ.

The daily reports that Cyprus’ permanent representative to the EU, Nicos Emiliou, has made strict representations to Sassoli, on the foreign minister’s instructions, over his provocative stance.

DISY MEPs Lefteris Christoforou and Loucas Fourlas express in their letter their strong dissatisfaction over Sassoli’s decision to meet with Mevlut Cavusoglu and remind him of the political sanctions the EU 28 unanimously agreed on last July that include suspension of all high-level meetings with Turkish officials.

EDEK’s Demetris Papadakis says in his letter that the meeting with Cavusoglu was wrong but congratulates Sassoli for his statements after the meeting against Turkey’s illegal actions.

He also points out to Sassoli that he should have refrained from such a meeting and act according to the spirit of positions of the EP’s political groups.

AKEL MEPs said they did not find anything reprehensible in Sassoli’s conduct arguing that there is no institutional framework forbidding him from carrying out such meetings.

According to the daily, the  MEPs’ stance raises questions, since, while the EP president has no legal obligation to implement the sanctions but his political and ethical commitment to do so is a given.

DIKO MEP Costas Mavrides has asked to meet Sassoli so that all aspects are clarified before he takes a stance, the paper reports.

RICS launches probe into activities by TC member in north

Cyprus Mail
Property, Human Rights


According to the paper, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has set internal procedures in motion after it emerged that one of the candidates for its advisory board, a TC woman, was found to cooperate with a company in the north believed to be selling GC property.

RICS Cyprus chairman Thomas Dimopoulos told the daily that the woman is a member of the association in her capacity as the owner of a surveying company but that there was no knowledge about her other activities.

He added that the woman was a successful candidate but the board members have not yet been officially announced as the decision is now on hold pending internal procedures into the matter.

The daily reports that after the woman’s candidacy was filed, it emerged that she was cooperating with an international real estate company active in the north that sells property in the area of Lapithos believed to be owned by GCs. Those opposing the woman’s candidacy base their objections also on the fact that only 13 per cent of land in the north belongs to TCs thus it is not sustainable for anyone to do business solely on that small share.

Dimopoulos said that after other RICS Cyprus members complained and presented more details and decisions by the European Court of Human Rights against Turkey over the illegal use of GC properties in the north, the necessary procedures were set in motion.

He also said the ensuing procedure has nothing to do with the fact the member in question is a TC arguing that RICS Cyprus has other TC members and that it is a professional association and not a political one.

War disabled feel neglected by state

Haravgi, Phileleftheros
Human Rights


The dailies report that the association of persons who were left disabled during the 1974 war are facing serious problems with the state refusing to acknowledge them as war victims and as a result, does not offer any assistance to them.

The association’s chairman, Giorgos Groutides, told the House refugee committee on Tuesday that in some cases doctors refuse to see the group’s members because they have not been paid for past procedures while a hospital in Israel has not been paid for its services since March 2018.

Groutides also referred to the case of one man with a prosthetic jaw who has been waiting for two years to hear from his attending doctor at a public hospital on his treatment.

He also said that their right to free healthcare does not apply after GESY was introduced since now they have to pay for pharmaceuticals not covered by the general health scheme while they still haven’t heard from the electricity authority (EAC) about their request for cheaper rates.

A representative of the association of the relatives of undeclared war prisoners and missing persons, told MPs that there was great delay as regards the response by state services whereas in some cases, applicants die before their requests are granted.

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