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Geneva document to be ready in a few days

The common document that President Nicos Anastasiades has made a condition for attending the Geneva conference, scheduled to start in June 28, could be given to the two sides over the next few days according to press reports.

The document, also referred to as the common text, would be prepared by UN Special Advisor Espen Barth Eide and will include what was recorded at the meetings of technocrats, the positions of each side, as well as the proposal of the UN.

Politis reported on Sunday that the first part of the document would include the positions of each side – Greek Cypriots, Turkish Cypriots and of Greece and Turkey – on security, as they had been recorded at Geneva conference. UN source said this was the first time all sides had submitted in writing their positions on the matter.

The Greek Cypriot side, according to Politis, sought the abolition of the Treaty of Guarantee and the adoption of a UN resolution that would act as a guarantee of the settlement. It also proposed a trilateral friendship pact among Cyprus, Greece and Turkey providing protection to the island from external threats, as well as a transitional period during which a multinational police force would act as an internal security force.

Greece too, according to the report, also wanted the abolition of the Treaty of Guarantee and the right of unilateral intervention. It also backed the idea of a trilateral friendship pact, and called for the withdrawal of all troops from Cyprus and their replacement by a multinational force that would guarantee security for a certain period.

The Turkish Cypriot side wanted Turkey to remain a guarantor only of the Turkish Cypriot constituent state and to have the right of intervention only in the case of very serious situations and after the invitation of that state’s parliament. It also proposed a timeframe – which would be reviewed every few years – for the withdrawal of foreign troops from the island, but without a specific deadline.

Turkey wanted the Treaty of Guarantee to stay in place and proposed the withdrawal of 80per cent of foreign troops after a solution. As for the remaining troops, Turkey wanted a transitional period to allow time to determine whether their presence on the island was not necessary.

The second part of the document, according to Politis, contained the views of the UN on security, which consisted of four parts; constitutional security, internal and external security and the implementation of a settlement.

As regards constitutional security, the document noted this would be safeguarded by the introduction of the bi-zonal federation and political equality of the two constituent states. The document also pointed out that law enforcement should be in place immediately after an agreement, to ensure internal security. On the issue of external security, the document reportedly talks of a trilateral friendship pact and the withdrawal of the majority of foreign troops, while the sides would have to decide when the remaining troops would leave the island.

The final part proposed the replacement of the Treaty of Guarantee with an Implementation Treaty under the supervision of UNFICYP and international observers to make sure that everything agreed by the two sides would be implemented.

Regarding concerns that energy giant Total’s offshore drilling, scheduled to start on July 13, might cause tension at the talks, Politis, citing Turkish Cypriot sources said the Turkish side would not make an issue if the talks went smoothly. “If the talks yield results, then the drilling will be an advantage to the whole of Cyprus,” the Turkish Cypriot source told Politis.

The Conference on Cyprus will reconvene in Geneva at the political level, under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. As part of the agreement brokered between the two leaders last Sunday in New York, by Guterres, Eide was given the task of drafting a “common document,” in consultation with all stakeholders, outlining the procedure that would be followed at the conference, mainly with regard to the discussion of the chapter of security and guarantees.

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