Thursday 1 December 2016

After Mont Pelerin…

Esra Aygin
28 November 2016

Many things have been said and written after the failed Mont Pelerin summit. I do not intend to get involved in the debate of who is right and who is wrong, or who is to be blamed and who is blameless. I know very well that every story has at least two facets, and neither side is ever absolutely right and good, or absolutely wrong and bad. There is one more thing that I know: The official and unofficial statements and the blame game on both sides have hurt the solution process more than the impasse itself… This blame game, which has been going on more openly in the north and more covertly in the south, has to a large extent shaken the communities’ faith in each other and in a solution.

However, the communities are the foundations of the solution process. A settlement in Cyprus cannot be achieved without the support of the communities. Even if it is, it cannot be sustained. And the foundation of a solution in Cyprus is fast collapsing. If solution is still the objective, one important role of the leaders is to continue to prepare their people regardless of what they go through on the negotiation table.

Both sides have indicated that they are willing to continue with the solution process following the Mont Pelerin fallout. UN Secretary General’s Special Advisor on Cyprus, Espen Barth Eide is in Cyprus this week to seek ways of reviving the process. We will most probably see the sides back at the negotiation table soon. And most probably there will be other tense moments, disappointments and even breakdowns in the negotiations, which have entered the last and most difficult phase.

It is important that the leaders, who have come so close to the objective of a federal Cyprus, to focus on the big picture, to not get blown away with every breeze, and to continue to prepare and encourage their communities for solution, peace and dialogue. There is no other alternative for Cyprus.

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