Cyprus Mail
Opinion Our View

Our View: Anastasiades should take credit for breakthrough and push ahead

THE WORDING of the joint declaration, which had been a stumbling block to the start of talks for four months, appears to have been agreed even though the government spokesman avoided confirming it. “Substantial consultations remained to be done in finalising the communiqué,” Christos Stylianides said yesterday. However, a day earlier, foreign minister Ioannis Kasoulides, briefing Disy deputies, said “we are very close.”

Events suggested there had been a breakthrough at Tuesday’s meeting between President Anastasiades and US Assistant Secretary of State for Eurasian Affairs, Victoria Nuland, but the government did not want to announce anything before the party leaders were informed. Anastasiades was to meet the party leaders this morning before flying to Athens for consultations with the Greek government. Yesterday morning he met Diko leader Nicholas Papadopoulos, to brief his coalition partner in advance.

It is clear that the intervention of the US government had been instrumental in resolving the dispute over the wording which was threatening to end the peace process, been put on ice for close to two years. Anastasiades had made the issuing of a joint declaration – setting out the outlines of a settlement – a condition for the start of talks but the two sides had failed to agree on what it should say, for four months. The stalemate encouraged opponents of a solution to cultivate the familiar negative climate, calling for an alternative strategy and other nebulous tactical manoeuvres.

The really difficult part for Anastasiades begins now that he will have to deal with the opponents of the talks including his coalition partner Diko. There was speculation yesterday that Papadopoulos had told the president his party would leave the alliance, which would be a positive development as Anastasiades would no longer have to tread a fine line in order to keep the professional naysayers of Diko on side. Diko should be left to join forces with Edek, the Greens and the Alliance of Citizens in an anti-settlement front and if they manage to win over public opinion they could sign the partition deal.

The president, on the other hand, needs to become more forceful in his dealings with the political parties and leave aside his ideas about collective decision-making and consensus. The choice now is for or against a settlement and those who are against should not be consulted. The National Council should stop meeting and the president should confer only with those political parties that share his vision of a settlement. This might be a divisive move, but it would show that the president, at last, means business.

Related Posts

Our View: Long fight ahead for gender equality in top positions

CM: Our View

Are you binge-watching? How to know if your TV habits are a problem

The Conversation

Cyprus’ desperately needs an independent Anti-Corruption Authority

CM Guest Columnist

Covid-19: digital peasants and the ignorant rich

Gwynne Dyer

Energy transition is unstoppable

Dr Charles Ellinas

University independence is sacrosanct

Christos Panayiotides

8 comments

Comments are closed.