Bi-communal Peace Initiative-United Cyprus
Δικοινοτική Πρωτοβουλία Ειρήνης –Ενωμένη Κύπρος
Birleşik Kıbrıs – İki Toplumlu Barış İnisiyatifi
Year 2020 has yet once more found Greek Cypriots, Turkish Cypriots and members of other communities in Cyprus, all deeply concerned about the current stalemate in the negotiation process since Crans Montana Conference on Cyprus and ensuing escalation in relations regarding the gas exploration and extraction. The absence of progress over the last 2,5 years is threatening to deepen the division, to escalate the conflict and bring about new fait accompli relating inter alia to the processes on gas extraction. The prevailing developments in the Eastern Mediterranean are further causing grave concern over the negative impact that these will have on Cyprus.
- Over recent months the Bi-communal Peace Initiative – United Cyprus has been mobilizing people, organizing marches and public events and have engaged in a process of consultation with the political forcess in Cyprus, with diplomatic missions in Cyprus and other stake holders, aiming at bringing Civil Society at the forefront of the struggle for Reunification and Peace.
- We are now visiting Brussels to engage in similar processes bringing the message that it is the common wish of Greek and Turkish Cypriots to see their country reunited in a Bi-communal, Bi-zonal Fedration with political equality.
The Bi-communal Peace Initiative – United Cyprus, concious of the criticality of the current state of affairs with regard to the negotiation process in Cyprus, has over recent months been taking initiatives that would allow the common wish of Turkish and Greek Cypriots to be heard loud and clear:
- We are deeply disappointed and concerned that at Crans Montana the sides were well positioned to cover the last lap towards the target of a strategic agreement for a permanent Solution but instead failed to utilise the Framework proposed by the SG of the United Nations. Unfortunately, two years have gone by without significant progress, wasting time and energy and failing the people of Cyprus.
We Declare that:
- We stand firm in support of a Bi-communal Bi-zonal Federation based on political equality, as set out in the relevant SC resolutions, the only viable solution that would reunify our Country and ensure a peaceful future for the generations to come.
- Any settlement agreed can only be viable if it is based on the strong commitment of the people of Cyprus to make it work, emphasising that mutually acceptable compromises will be made in the name of peace and prosperity that will come with the reunification.
We Demand that:
- The two Leaders should accept without any preconditions to work within the Framework as proposed by the SG of the United Nations and reaffirmed at the Berlin meeting and provide compromise proposals on all outstanding issues and lead to an Agreement. The work done at Berlin last November has created positive expectations but still real work on the ground has been limited to some progress at Confidence Building Measures.
- Constructive use of the proposed mechanism for the implementation of the solution should be made.
- Past convergences on any chapter should be respected by all, and negotiations should resume from the point at which things were left off at Crans Montana. Particular emphasis on the issues related to the termination of the Treaty of Guarantee and any unilateral right of foreign intervention from day one and the speedy withdrawal of all foreign troops, the political equality and the convergence already recorded on the question of rotating presidency, weighted cross voting and the positive Turkish Cypriot vote in all Council of Ministers decisions. The progress made on territory and the tabling of maps should also be respected.
- The significant convergence of 4:1 on citizenship should be equally respected.
We are demanding from the two Leaders, Mr. Anastasiades and Mr. Akinci at this most critical juncture that they decidedly and without any delay or stalling demonstrate the necessary political will to put back on track the negotiation process, before the current stalemate and related crisis gets out of hand. Towards that end all parties should refrain from cultivating a climate of mistrust but are expected to engage actively in developing a culture of peace.
Cyprus is an EU member state with all its territory, though the implementation of the acquis is suspended in the northern part of the island. Its people remain separated. All Cypriots and Europeans continue to bear a responsibility towards each other to bring an end to this anomaly that threatens Peace in South Eastern Europe. We remain committed towards this end and look forward to more active engagement of EU institutions towards this common cause.
The Bi-communal Peace Initiative-United Cyprus
17th February, 2020