Cyprus Mail

Greece has taken a principled stand over guarantees

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias File photo

In your editorial “Greece must stop blocking a deal” (Cyprus Mail, November 24), Greece is blamed for not adopting “a supportive role, instead of undermining the process as it had done in the last week”. President Anastasiades is also blamed, for standing next to Prime Minister Tsipras and “nodding approvingly” while the PM declared that Greece would only take part in a multi-party meeting if there was “agreement for the abolition of the anachronistic system of guarantees and the full withdrawal of Turkish troops from the island”. Your article also argues that “Greek Cypriots may have been prepared to live with it (guarantees and troops) for the sake of reunification and Tsipras had no right blocking it”. Your article ends with the following statement: “Anastasiades must make it clear to Tslpras that he should fully support efforts to strike a deal rather than placing obstacles”.

I consider your article extremely unfair and provoking. Nobody, in my opinion, can blame Greece and the Greek government for supporting the full withdrawal of Turkish troops from Cyprus, an independent and sovereign state and member of the European Union. This is a demand of the whole international community as expressed in various UN Security Council resolutions, and it fully complies with international and European Unlon law.

Nobody, in my opinion, can also blame Greece and the Greek government for demanding the abolition of the system of guarantees, as anachronistic. Can anybody seriously argue that our system of “guarantees” is compatible with the notions of independence and sovereignty of nations according to international law? Do you know of any other sovereign and independent nations, in Europe or in the whole world, that have similar systems of “guarantees”, i.e. intervention rights by third countries?

It is to the credit of the present Greek government that it has taken such a legally correct stand in these two issues which directly concern Greece, in her capacity as a guarantor power. A neutral position, by Greece, on these crucial matters would, in my opinion, support the stronger party, in the negotiations, impose his will on the weaker and perhaps “strike a deal” as you put it in your article, but it would certainly not help the efforts to find a just and lasting solution for Cyprus.

Myron M Nicolatos, president of the Cyprus supreme court

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