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Provident Fund returns for thousands of civil servants
Pension scheme for PASYDY, OELMEK, POED, OLTEK, SAK, Cyprus Army Officers Association.
- European Council: Balance ahead of Geneva and messages
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They’re playing dangerous games
Our European partners at the European Council ‘forgot’ the Cyprus problem in the initial text. The first drafts that appeared before the Summit were negative and had many omissions.
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Huge push as of next week
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EU gave Turkey an appointment in June
Government satisfied with with conclusions of the ’27’. Turkey’s behaviour at the five-party will be it’s first test for compliance. Turkish carrot and stick toward EU-Cyprus.
- Joe Biden: I have not given up on the Cyprus problem
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Nicosia says final EUCO conclusions text ‘balanced’Alithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis
EU Matters, Negotiations Process
The dailies report that Nicosia considers the final conclusions text issued by EU leaders at the European Council summit earlier this week balanced as regards its approach to the Cyprus problem, the conditions set and the goals which must be reached for a positive agenda between the EU and Turkey to move along.
Citing sources, Phileleftheros reports that the Republic raised strong objections over the first two drafts of the conclusions text, particularly as regards references to the Cyprus problem and the need for sanctions to remain on the table in case Turkey resumes illegal activity in Varosha and the Cyprus EEZ. The paper reports that once a third draft was issued, which appeared to take Cyprus’ concerns into account, the Republic mounted pressure which culminated in a phone call between President Nicos Anatasiades and European Council President Charles Michel a few hours before the launching of the summit, with their 45-minute conversation proving decisive for the final text adopted by EU leaders.
In the final text, clear reference is made to the Cyprus problem, with EU leaders recalling previous European Council conclusions and stating they remain committed to a comprehensive settlement of the issue according to relevant UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions, and particularly resolutions 550, 789 and 1251. The text also said the EU is looking forward to a resumption of UN-led negotiations, in which the EU will participate as an observer and will play an active role in supporting talks by appointing a representative to the UN good office mission.
Politis reports that government spokesman Kyriakos Koushos said the text reflects Nicosia’s main pursuits, noting that the Republic views the text as balanced. Phileleftheros reports that Nicosia has highlighted two important factors through which Turkey’s stance will be evaluated: whether Turkey will participate in the informal Geneva meeting with a constructive stance, and whether Turkey will consent to EU participation at the informal meeting and at the formal negotiations that may follow. Alithia reports that the informal summit in Geneva will be the first instance in which Turkey’s stance as regard’s the EU’s suggestions will be tested. The paper writes that Turkey’s behaviour there will be evaluated by the EU, which will then take further decisions in June.
Politis reports that Nicosia has interpreted both the final conclusions text and the report issued by the EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell as signalling the heightened importance of the Cyprus problem and the issue of Varosha in EU-Turkey relations. The paper writes that securing these references in the final text was not an easy feat, since Germany and other EU member states were pushing for the adoption of a more positive approach to Turkey.
Phileleftheros reports that the final text called also on Turkey to avoid renewed provocations and unilateral actions in breach of international law, stressing that such actions will lead the EU to use the instruments and options at its disposal to defend its interests and those of its member states. The paper reports that the text also called on the EU to expand talks with Turkey in view of achieving a modernised customs union agreement.
Phileleftheros reports that in statements after the summit, Michel said the EU hopes to improve its relations with Turkey but it is important the country maintains a moderate behaviour, otherwise the EU will reverse its positive approach. Haravgi reports that Michel said he was contact with Turkish authorities in view of potentially scheduling a trip to Ankara in April. On her part, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the EU is aware that the current de-escalation progress is fragile, noting that the report drafted with Borrell detailing the EU’s instruments and options for how to move forward in relations with Turkey.
Politis reports on Turkey’s negative reaction to the conclusions text, citing the Turkish Foreign Ministry’s assertion that the text ignores the maximalist stance of Greece and Greek Cypriots. Alithia reports that the Turkish Foreign Ministry added that references to the Cyprus problem in the conclusions only support the interests of the GC side, are detached from reality, and do not contribute to a reconciliation. It also said that the fact that the conclusions do not refer to TCs and their legal rights proves the EU’s biased stance as regards Cyprus. But Politis writes that the reaction was milder than that shown in the past, since Turkey appreciates the EU’s efforts to adopt a positive agenda.
Politis reports that Turkey also said it was displeased that the north was not informed of the appointment of the Norwegian officer Ingrid Gjerde as the new force commander of UNFICYP, referring to the development as a case of unequal treatment. Turkey stressed that UNFICYP’s ability to carry out its tasks on the island depends on its cooperation with the TC side.
Meanwhile, the papers also report on statements issued by US President Joe Biden, who said he hasn’t given up on the Cyprus problem. Biden also held a phone conversation with the Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, to whom he extended an invitation for a trip to the US once the coronavirus situation allows. Topics discussed included security and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean. Politis reports that while Biden has not made a similar move with Nicosia, other US government officials are in contact with officials and diplomats of the Republic.
Meanwhile, the dailies report on a graffiti incident at mosque in Limassol district’s Episkopi on Thursday, when Greece marked the bicentennial of its independence, with perpetrators spraypainting the mosque with nationalistic and anti-Turkish slogans and symbols. The dailies report that the incident was condemned by authorities in the Republic, the north, and Turkey, which viewed it as a provocation.
>> Nicosia views EUCO conclusions text as balanced and covers Nicosia’s main bases
>> EU hopes to improve its relations with Turkey but it is important the country maintains a moderate behaviour, otherwise the EU will reverse its positive approach
Von der Leyen (EU)
>> EU is aware that the current de-escalation progress is fragile
>> EUCO conclusions text ignores the maximalist stance of Greece and GCs
>> References to Cyprus problem in the conclusions only support the interests of the GC side, are detached from reality, and do not contribute to a reconciliation
>> The fact that the conclusions do not refer to TCs and their legal rights proves the EU’s biased stance as regards Cyprus
>> Haven’t given up on the Cyprus problem