The proposal of Diko, Edek and Solidarity on the chapter of security and guarantees, which was made public on Tuesday, might as well have been titled ‘Formula for a deadlocked Conference and the collapse of the peace process.’ Another title could have been ‘Recipe for safeguarding and maintaining partition’, which is the solution supported by the three parties without ever openly saying so.
What is, after all, the purpose of submitting a proposal that could never be accepted by one of the sides involved in the negotiations, the agreement of which is necessary to reach a settlement? Had the three parties, backing the candidacy of Nicolas Papadopoulos, decided that their unrelenting talks’ negativity did not serve their election agenda and needed to adopt an approach that would seem more constructive to voters? It does not matter that the only aim of the constructive proposal is the collapse of the process.
Among other things, the parties proposed: guarantee and intervention rights would have to be abolished before a referendum on a settlement; a time-frame for the withdrawal of all foreign troops had to be agreed before the referendum while the settlement would be implemented only after all troops were withdrawn; the establishment of a ‘military committee’ to record the numbers of soldiers and all weaponry and monitor their withdrawal. Apart from this, Turkey would have to recognise the Cyprus Republic, while the Turkish assembly would have to ratify an agreement on the EEZ borders between Cyprus and Turkey.
It is an absurd proposal and even more absurd is the three parties’ delusion that anyone with basic intelligence would take it seriously and accept it as a constructive way of reaching an agreement with the other side. But is it a delusion, or calculated attempt to promote the idea of partition, in a round-about way as the best possible settlement? Probably the latter, considering Edek and Solidarity are stridently opposed to a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation while Diko supports the type of federation the other side would never accept.
A columnist writing in Alithia yesterday, quite rightly, asked why Anastasiades had invited the leaders of Edek, Diko, the Alliance and Greens to accompany him to the conference in Switzerland. He asked: “is it possible, during a pre-election period, for Papadopoulos and the rejectionists that surround him to give a helping hand to Anastasiades?” Of course not, as their objective is not an agreement but deadlock, as the proposal on the chapter of security and guarantees made evident.