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Examining the Viability of a New Approach to the Cyprus Issue

cyprus issue political stances

Harris Georgiades proposes a “step-by-step” negotiation process for the Cyprus Problem, advocating incremental agreements to build trust rather than seeking an immediate comprehensive solution, challenging the current focus on maintaining Greek Cypriot political authority.

In his recent book, “The New Realism – The Cyprus Problem 50 years after the Turkish invasion,” Georgiades assesses the past political decisions shaping Cyprus, urging a fresh, realistic negotiation approach that deviates from the entrenched positions of the ruling class and emphasizes incremental agreements for building trust among all parties.

What is the new approach to the Cyprus Problem proposed by Harris Georgiades?

Harris Georgiades proposes a “step-by-step” negotiation process for the Cyprus Problem, advocating incremental agreements to build trust rather than seeking a comprehensive solution immediately. This approach contrasts with the current focus on maintaining unchallenged Greek Cypriot political authority and avoiding power-sharing with the Turkish Cypriot community.

Reassessing Political Stances Post-Invasion

The Cyprus Problem remains a complex puzzle, decades after the Turkish invasion. The recent literary contribution by Harris Georgiades titled “The New Realism – The Cyprus Problem 50 years after the Turkish invasion” offers a stark analysis of the situation. Georgiades, a key minister in the cabinet of Nicos Anastasiades, critiques the political decisions made by past leaders. The book outlines the heavy responsibilities borne by Archbishop Makarios and his successors, including Tassos Papadopoulos and Demetris Christofias, in shaping the island’s current political conundrum.

The narrative takes a softer tone with Glafcos Clerides, depicting him in a more favorable light. Interestingly, Georgiades’ perspective shifts noticeably when discussing Anastasiades, absolving him of much of the responsibility, despite his transformation from a supporter to a staunch opponent of reunification. These criticisms lay the groundwork for a broader discussion on the political missteps that have led to the entrenchment of the island’s division.

The Last Chapter: A Realistic Perspective?

In the final chapter, which gives the book its name, Georgiades argues that the prospect of a mutually agreed solution seems distant. The consolidation of partition in its most severe form has become a reality, partly due to the Greek Cypriot side’s suboptimal management of the issue. He supports this assertion with data, such as the rise in active mobile subscribers in the occupied areas, signifying increased population and development—factors that diminish the likelihood of significant land returns or the restoration of property rights.

The author suggests that the accumulation of these challenges necessitates a fresh, realistic approach to negotiations. His proposal advocates for a step-by-step negotiation process, departing from the aim of a comprehensive solution and instead focusing on securing incremental agreements that could benefit all parties and foster a gradual build-up of trust.

Evaluating the Views of the Cypriot Legal Sphere

This perspective is not entirely new; it echoes the ideas of Polys Polyviou, a distinguished lawyer from Cyprus, who has been advocating for such an approach since 2010. The prevailing sentiment among the Greek Cypriot ruling class is one of maintaining unchallenged political authority, rejecting any form of power-sharing with the Turkish Cypriot community. This stance has been consistently held by influential figures, including Tassos Papadopoulos and Nikos Anastasiades, and remains influential in current political dialogue.

The book contrasts these prevailing views with alternative proposals that have been detailed sufficiently, suggesting a severing of the political and economic ties between Northern Cyprus and Turkey as a precondition for a viable resolution. However, the ruling class seems to show little interest in giving these proposals the public discourse and consideration they may deserve.

Political Dynamics and the Future of Cyprus

As the debate continues, a key question arises: whether the “step-by-step approach” suggested by Georgiades has been embraced by his political party, Disy. If so, this represents a significant shift in the party’s stance that should be publicly acknowledged. Failure to do so could imply a fragmented approach within the party, undermining the author’s vision of a united negotiation strategy.

The concerns about this approach potentially leading to a covert partition of Cyprus, with all its associated challenges, are pressing and cannot be ignored. The position of the Greek Cypriot side, as observed by international bodies, appears to be hardening, prompting calls for clear public statements from leaders like Nikos Christodoulides on the direction of their policy. The path forward for Cyprus remains uncertain, with the political will to engage in a new type of negotiation process still under scrutiny.

What is the new approach to the Cyprus Problem proposed by Harris Georgiades?

Harris Georgiades proposes a “step-by-step” negotiation process for the Cyprus Problem, advocating incremental agreements to build trust rather than seeking a comprehensive solution immediately. This approach contrasts with the current focus on maintaining unchallenged Greek Cypriot political authority and avoiding power-sharing with the Turkish Cypriot community.

Has the “step-by-step approach” been embraced by Georgiades’ political party, Disy?

The acceptance of the “step-by-step approach” within Disy would represent a significant shift in the party’s stance and should be publicly acknowledged. Failure to do so could imply a fragmented approach within the party, potentially undermining the author’s vision of a united negotiation strategy.

What are the prevailing views of the Cypriot ruling class regarding the Cyprus Problem?

The ruling class in Cyprus has historically maintained a stance of preserving unchallenged political authority and rejecting power-sharing with the Turkish Cypriot community. This position has been held by influential figures like Tassos Papadopoulos and Nikos Anastasiades and continues to shape the current political dialogue on the island.

What role does the book “The New Realism – The Cyprus Problem 50 years after the Turkish invasion” play in reevaluating the Cyprus Problem?

The book by Harris Georgiades offers a critical analysis of past political decisions shaping Cyprus, urging a fresh negotiation approach that deviates from entrenched positions and emphasizes incremental agreements to build trust among all parties. The narrative also evaluates the consolidation of partition and advocates for a realistic perspective on the future of Cyprus negotiations.

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