GCC Press Review 20 Apr 2021

Front Page Headlines


Holy Week…  without resurrection!

The rise in cases has brought irritation and cracks in the relations of the health minister with the epidemiologists. The continuing rise of cases and hospitalisations does not allow any lifting of measures for the Easter period epidemiologists argue, stressing that we may have rushed to introduce relaxations.

  • Parliamentary elections-parties: The ruling (that they must run under registered names) has turned everything upside down
  • Tower (in Limassol) grew by 26 storeys! – Calls for a fine.


Government all alone on the (state) guarantees issue

A bill was submitted, but the opposition will vote on another on Thursday. This time, it will be more difficult for the government to turn down involvement by (Auditor-general) Odysseas (Michaelides) for the audit process.

  • Annexation moves by Ankara instead of a solution
  • Parties can use their 2016 names for the (parliamentary elections) ballot papers
  • Murder in Meneou with a 37-year-old man as victim– Unknown perpetrators were waiting for him and shot him on Kyparission Avenue. He was known to authorities. It is believed he was shot while his car was moving.


A self-serving attitude with conflict of interest by (attorney-general) Savvides – (deputy AG) Angelides

They are called to decide on the interim ruling on the ‘golden’ passports. The AG and the deputy AG, as former ministers of the DISY-Anastasiades government lack impartiality.

  • Intervention by Akinci-Talat on the five-party summit. Reactions on the Quran (lessons)

Cyprus Mail

Measures stay until mid-May

But despite surge in cases, no plans to tighten any restrictions.

  • Hospitals already under strain expect to see numbers increase


Parties in shambles after the attorney-general’s ruling

Elections: The government is promoting an amendment for keeping the 2016 names.

  • Akinci and Talat warn Tatar on the Cyprus problem
  • Murder in Meneou: They killed last night 37-year-old Mariouthkias with an automatic weapon

Main News

Borrell: Geneva outcome is crucial for EU-Turkey relations

Alithia, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis
Negotiations Process, EU Matters, Regional/International Relations


Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides called on his EU counterparts on Monday to convey to Turkey the message that its constructive stance in solving the Cyprus problem was a precondition for the adoption of a positive agenda concerning its relations with the EU, the dailies report.

Citing a press release by the foreign ministry, the dailies reports that Christodoulides, during a teleconference of the EU Foreign Affairs Council (FAC), briefed his counterparts about the upcoming informal five-party summit to take place next week in Geneva.

He also asked them to convey to Ankara the clear European position that Turkey’s substantive contribution to reach a solution within the agreed framework of the bizonal bicommunal federation  (BBF) which will be fully compatible with the European acquis, is a precondition for the adoption of a positive agenda in the EU-Turkey relations.

“It is paradoxical that Ankara is insisting on strengthening its relations with the EU, but at the same time it is among those who refuse any EU involvement in the processes to resolve the Cyprus issue,” Christodoulides said.

The foreign ministry also said that the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell briefed the FAC about his recent conversation with the UN Secretary-General, to whom he expressed Brussels’ full support in the efforts to resolve the Cyprus issue, on the basis of a BBF. Borrell said he also conveyed the EU’s position that any approach that goes beyond the agreed solution framework cannot be accepted by the EU and reaffirmed the EU’s desire to participate in the whole process. The High Representative said that the results of the forthcoming meeting in Geneva are crucial for the future of Euro-Turkish relations and the decisions that the EU will take at the June European Council.

Christodoulides also briefed his counterparts about the results of the first joint meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Cyprus, Greece, Israel and the United Arab Emirates in Paphos, this week. He referred to the willingness of the countries of the region to cooperate in addressing common challenges and their desire to strengthen their relations with the EU to which Nicosia and Athens can help.

He also invited Borrell to attend the next meeting of the group, which the High Representative accepted, the foreign ministry said, acknowledging the strategic importance for the EU of the wider Eastern Mediterranean, Middle East and Gulf region and efforts to enhance stability, security and cooperation in the region.

Haravgi and Alithia also report that Moscow reiterated that the change of the current principles of a settlement from a federal to a two-state model is unacceptable and welcomed the UN Secretary-General’s initiative to hold an informal five-plus-one meeting.

The daily cites the website of the Russian Foreign Ministry and spokesperson Maria Zakharova who said Moscow was closely following the preparations for the summit and that it was a positive sign that all the interested parties have expressed readiness to attend it.

Zakharova said that Russia, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, was categorically against the enforcement of any external ready-made formulas and temporary solutions. “The Cyprus communities must be free to choose their own future. Our principled stance remains unchanged: we stand for a comprehensive, fair and sustainable settlement in the best interests of all Cypriots based on the generally recognised legal formula that provides for the creation on the island of a bizonal, bicommunal federation with a common international jurisdiction, sovereignty and citizenship,” she said.

Christodoulides (RoC MFA)
Calls on EU members make Ankara realise that contributing to reaching a BBF solution on Cyprob is also a precondition for an EU-Turkey positive agenda.
>> Finds odd that, on one hand, Ankara says it wants tighter relations with EU but on the other it refuses the bloc’s involvement in Cyprob procedures.

Borrell (EU)
The Geneva summit results are crucial for the future of Euro-Turkish relations & decisions of June EUCO.
>> EU will not accept any solution proposals that stray from agreed framework.
>> EU would like to participate in Cyprob settlement process.

Zakharova (Russia)
Moscow continues to support a BBF solution in Cyprus & warns against attempts by some capitals to change current solution principles from a federal to a two-state model. Only with UN approval can parameters change.
>> Moscow welcomes willingness by all stakeholders to attend the five-party summit.
>> Two communities in Cyprus must be free to choose their own future.

‘Anastasiades’ moves in Geneva summit still a riddle’

Negotiations Process


The daily reports that no one knows what President Nicos Anastasiades will do at the five-party summit. Citing reliable sources, it reported that Anastasiades keeps his cards close to his chest as regards his moves at the five-party summit and it seems he will not reveal his intentions not even at the National Council this Friday.

The same sources said that the general assessment is that the five-party summit will end with a UN statement stating its commitment to continue the effort.

The daily said that difficulties lie ahead as the president continues to make general statements and even worse, he reiterates his well-known position on political equality and that he recognises the positive vote for the TCs only on issues that are vital to them. But if in the case of hydrocarbons they cannot have an opinion then what other issues are vital for the TCs? the daily asked.

The same sources told the paper that it is not important what the studies that the academics have prepared for the decentralisation of powers say, but what the president will do in the end. Most of the party leaders expect that this study will be given to them and serious exchange of views will take place before the meeting in Geneva, it added.

According to the daily, the president, for now, is doing PR, with the big invitation that his office extended to the wider group of advisers on Friday to attend yesterday’s meeting, being one of his moves to win impressions. The members of the wider team feel that the invitation was just for the show.

The daily also reports that two academics, Maria Hadjipavlou and Alexia Panayiotou, have launched a campaign to collect signatures, demanding to know from the president how many women, and their names, will accompany him to Geneva. They point out that the participation of women with relevant expertise in the various stages of the negotiations is a must in accordance with Resolution 1325 of 2000.

Haravgi reports that, as it is well-known, in addition to negotiator Andreas Mavroyiannis and Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides, the president will be accompanied by all party leaders except ELAM’s, the government spokesman, head of the president’s diplomatic office Kyriacos Kouros, Pantelis Pantelides, Ioannis Kassoulides, and head of the president’s office Petros Demetriou.

The members of the small group of legal-constitutional law advisers consisted of the attorney-general, Toumazos Tselepis, Tassos Tzionis, Constantinos Kompos, Aris Constantinides, Achilleas Emilianides, Christina Ioannou and Costas Paraskeva will also be in Geneva, the daily reported.

Former TC leaders offer advice ahead of Geneva summit  

Alithia, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis
Negotiations Process, Human Rights


The dailies report that former TC leader Mustafa Akinci is calling on Tatar not to abandon all that has been agreed at the 2019 Berlin meeting.

The papers also report on the protest on Monday by TC lawyers against threats by the Turkish president against a court ruling concerning Quran courses in schools in the north.

According to the papers, Akinci said that abandoning what has been agreed in his meeting with Nicos Anastasiades at the Berlin summit in 2019 in the present of the UN secretary-general will automatically mean the resignation of the rights of the TCs on the island. Without what has been agreed, it will be like killing any hope for a solution to the Cyprus problem, he stressed. He also said that it would mean, all that the TC side gained in relation to political equality, rotating presidency and effective participation would be lost.

The dailies also cite statements by former TC leader Mehmet Ali that he expected that there will be impasses at the Geneva summit due to lack of common ground and that there should be close diplomacy to involve other countries and the EU.

He also said that if the Geneva summit cpplases, Tatar will not be able to overcome the impasse not in lifetime. He also expressed the conviction there will be no developments on the Cyprus problem halftime until the next elections in the north.

Phileleftheros, Alithia, Haravgi and Politis also cite statements to YeniDuzen by former negotiator and current ‘MP’ of the Republican Turkish Party Ozdil Nami saying that what Tatar is striving for, is not a two-state solution or a federal one but to preserve the current status quo. Nami reportedly said Tatar represents a class that has greatly benefitted from the current status of the ‘TRNC’ and want to keep it that way. He also said this class did not represent the bright face of the TCs but it was a dark face that wants to drag TCs to a place they do not deserve.

Phileleftheros, citing Erdogan’s reaction against the TC court ruling on the Quran courses, reports that Ankara is moving towards annexing the north instead of reaching a solution to the Cyprus problem.

The daily reported that the issue of Quran courses is a very clear example of how the Turkish government sees the occupied part of Cyprus: it wants to exercise complete control but also impose practices foreign to TC mentality. This different Turkish agenda will affect first and foremost the upcoming informal meeting that will begin in a week in Geneva, the daily said. It added that with an Ankara that wants and seeks to exercise full control over the occupied territories as if it were a Turkish province, it is estimated that it will be very difficult to expect that in the talks it will agree to anything that will take away from it its domination of the occupied part of the island, Phileleftheros reported.

It also reports that Tatar, in statements to Phileleftheros on Monday had made clear that there was no issue of abolishing Turkey’s guarantees. Tatar also spoke of the TCs’ sovereignty which in practise in non-existent since Erdogan wants to control over what is happening in the occupied areas, the daily said.

Alithia reports Akinci and Talat warn Tatar of his moves in Geneva.

Haravgi reports that Akinci and Talat assess that the summit will yield no results if both sides stick to their positions.

Bicommunal rally in support of federal solution

Alithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi
Human Rights, Negotiations Process, CBMs


The dailies reports that a bicommunal march is scheduled to take place on Saturday afternoon on both sides of the divide.

Cyprus Mail reports that the event is organised by the UniteCyprusNow group which has invited all Cypriots on both sides to join the march. The group said it was time “Cypriots showed that despite our troubled past we want to build a common future.”  The bicommunal march is scheduled to take place a few days before the informal five-party meeting where the island’s two community leaders and guarantors Greece Turkey and the UK will discuss how to move ahead with Cyprus negotiations, Cyprus Mail reports.

Alithia reports that the same event is being organised by the platform ‘This country is ours’.

The joint statement of the platform was read by two young TCs, saying that TCs, “who have been who have been fighting for years to live freely in these lands, to keep culture alive and to unite with the rest of the world, have defended, are defending and will continue to defend that the most realistic solution model to reunite our divided island is the federation.” They invited everyone who feels a Cypriot , regardless of religion, language or race, and who want reunification of the island, to join them on Saturday.

Cyprus Mail also reports on the meetings last Saturday and earlier in the month of people from both sides of the divide at the Venetian walls near Paphos Gate. It reported that last Saturday afternoon people gathered on either side of the Venetian walls in Nicosia near Paphos Gate to mark the one-year anniversary since the last time people were able to meet face to face and call for the opening of the crossings.  Earlier in the month members of the bicommunal Cypriot Songs Association Sindesmos Kypriakou Tragoudiou/Kibris Havalari Dernegi performed together again after a long hiatus in the same way Turkish Cypriots stood on top of the wall and the Greek Cypriots underneath and together they performed songs, the daily reported.

Police investigate whether man who abducted his sons fled through north

CBMs, Internal Security


The daily reports that the Limassol Crime Investigation Unit is waiting for information through the Technical Committee on Crime on the kidnapping of two children by their father and on whether he fled to the north with the two boys.

The mother reported last Friday that she had to go somewhere for a while on April 6 and, upon her return home, she found that her two children, aged 5 and 11 were gone. She contacted her ex-husband who told her that they were with him and that he would bring them back home after spending some time with them. She told police she was able to speak to her five-year-old son through social media on April 16 but she does not know where they are.

It seems that the suspect is no longer in the government-controlled areas and the Limassol police have asked the occupied areas through the bicommunal technical committee for information on whether the father crossed to the north and left abroad, the paper reports.

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