Tuesday 4 July 2017

Critical evening at Crans-Montana - Both sides need to take steps for progress

Esra Aygin

Both sides need to take steps for progress
Unilateral intervention outside SG’s framework and not included in Turkish proposals
UNSG to only come if there is progress

The sides have started substantial negotiations over the essential outstanding elements of the Cyprus problem in the conference in Crans-Montana.

The Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot sides have submitted their package proposals on governance and power-sharing, property, territory, security and guarantees and the equivalent treatment of Turkish and Greek nationals in a federal Cyprus. Guarantor states Turkey, Greece and the United Kingdom submitted their proposals on security and guarantees only.

The United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Friday had secured an agreement between all sides at the conference to deal with essential elements of a comprehensive solution through a holistic approach and submit proposals in line with a framework he devised, which excluded extreme positions on both sides.

For example, in this respect, Secretary General Guterres excluded the 0 troops 0 guarantees on day 1 position because it is unacceptable to the Turkish Cypriot side and the right of unilateral intervention by Turkey because this is unacceptable to the Greek Cypriot side.

Yesterday, the United Nations asked the Greek Cypriot side to revisit and resubmit their package of proposals because it excluded rotational presidency, which was within the framework set by Guterres. Upon this request the Greek Cypriot side added rotating presidency in their package of proposals and resubmitted.

Diplomatic sources are stating that although all the package proposals on the table now are within the framework that the UN Secretary-General put forward, the sides are still holding on to their cards and expecting a step from the other side. Sources are saying that both the Turkish Cypriot side and the Greek Cypriot side need to take mutual steps especially in the governance and power sharing and the security and guarantees issues.

The UN was said to be working on some methods to have the sides take simultaneous steps.

Sources are saying that Secretary-General Guterres will only return to Crans-Montana if there is progress on the table.

“If there is no progress by tomorrow morning there is no reason for the Secretary-General to come here,” said a source. “He will not come here and repeat what he did last Friday or try to save the process. He wants to see real determination and effort.”

Political observers agree that if there is no progress in Crans-Montana by the end of this week the negotiations will move back to Cyprus and continue, but only because no side including the UN would declare the negotiations dead.

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