There appears to be no way out of the joint declaration impasse with the two sides jostling for position and Turkey increasingly adopting the blame game card as its focuses on its own internal struggles.
President Anastasiades has made clear to the UN Secretary General that there will be no backpedaling on agreement on single sovereignty before Cyprus settlement talks can resume. This point of substance has mired any further efforts.
According to Cyprus Daily sources, the UN chief’s envoy Alexander Downer will be launching yet another round of exploratory talks early next year.
But political parties here believe that given the current upheaval in Turkey, chances of the start of any form of negotiation, let alone a fruitful one, are rather dim. The backing given to Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu by Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu during his visit last week would seem to strengthen this assessment.
“It is clear that Turkey is no longer interested in drawing up a joint declaration that will set a negotiating basis leading to a just, viable and workable solution of the Cyprus problem,” said House Speaker and Socialist Edek leader Yiannakis Omirou. There is now no point to seek out this declaration, he noted, urging President Anastasiades to withdraw all the proposals he has submitted and forge a new national strategy, even if it has taken 39 years.
The fact that the Erdogan government is embroiled in a high profile scandal means that chances of the talks resuming are unlikely, is the position put forward by European Party leader Demitris Syllouris, who pointed out that he was not surprised about how the situation was unfolding in Turkey.
“We all know how Erdogan came to power and now a survival game is in play,” he said. He further stressed that the Cyprus issue is one of invasion and occupation must remain cast in stone as a matter of principle, with the Greek-Cypriot side making this clear before any negotiation.
The Greens on their part called on President Anastasiades to convene the Geopolitical Strategy Council so experts can play their part in explaining the Turkish political situation and how it affects the islands’ interests. They accused the rest of the Cyprus leadership of wasting time on unproductive sparring.
Archbishop Chrysostomos also sounded bleak, saying that Ankara’s designs steadfastly remain in the horizon of secession and division, eventualities unacceptable to the Greek-Cypriot leadership and people, who are seeking the establishment of a single sovereignty state.
With the approval of the budget, Nicosia is now more focused on taking the next step in putting the economy back on the road of recovery and implementing bail-out policies.