Cyprus Mail

Our View: We can’t keep fooling ourselves that talks will continue

File photo: President Anastasiades, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and European Union foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini in Crans-Montana.

“The scene clears”, declared the front page of Phileleftheros yesterday, explaining that the “meetings in New York will determine the next developments in the Cyprus problem”.

This speculation was based on the fact that “all the basic players in the Cyprus problem will be in New York this week and each one will visit the office of the UN Secretary-General”.

Although the meetings with the five will be brief, Antonio Guterres “will be waiting to hear from everyone specific ideas as to how the Cyprus peace procedure can proceed”, and “mainly how talks can resume”.

Newspapers and our politicians refuse to see reality, operating under the illusion that Crans-Montana was a minor setback and that the UN will waste more time trying to facilitate an agreement between unwilling partners.

When will we realise that Cyprus talks as we knew them – years of inconclusive negotiations – are over?

There is nothing left to discuss. Most issues are agreed, only the political decisions remain.

The issues of security, guarantees and troops – over which there are basic differences – cannot be settled at Cyprus talks because the presence of the guarantor powers is needed. What talks will resume?

The idea that Guterres has nothing else to do than deal with a problem, the solution for which no political will exists, verges on the absurd.

The UNSG has first-hand knowledge of the unbridgeable differences between the two sides, as he was present and personally involved in the talks that collapsed in Switzerland last July.

Why on earth would he want the resumption of aprocedure that is doomed to failure?

Some Greek Cypriots seem to think that the UN has a moral obligation to ensure the continuation of talks for the sake of talks.

Greece’s foreign minister Nikos Kotzias encouraged the nursing of illusions about the continuation of the process, saying on Sunday, after a brief meeting with Guterres that the document placed on the table in Crans-Montana by the UNSG, “constitutes a good basis for continuing our talks”.

He also claimed that the peace talks were open ended, disingenuously implying they could go on indefinitely, which is quite clearly not the case.

The talks are finished and the time has come to decide what we want.

Mustafa Akinci set out the two choices very clearly in a speech yesterday.

He said the Greek Cypriots needed to decide whether they wanted to share power with the Turkish Cypriots in conditions of political equality, or the division of the island into two distinct entities.

President Anastasiades appears to have made his choice, even though he would rather keep alive the myth about the resumption of the talks and continuation of the process.

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