Unless Turkey Bends, Anastasiades See Little Hope for Cyprus Unity

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades. (Photo by TNH/Kosta Bej, FILE)

NICOSIA – Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades said there’s little chance to reunify the island divided by an unlawful invasion in 1974 unless Turkey takes an army out of the occupied northern third and stops demanding the right to militarily intervene again.

Speaking at a public event, he used vague language to send a message that while he wants the talks that collapsed in July, 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana to resume that it would depend on Turkey stopping to continue “traces of injustice,” without specifying what he was talking about.

“An agreement based on injustice is destined to fail,” the President said, according to Kathimerini Cyprus, adding that he won’t negotiate any deal that usurps the rights of Cypriots – the same position being taken by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Turkish-Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci for their people, keeping in position the same grievances.

“What I want to send out as a message is that everything we have stood for and continue to stand for, in order to achieve a viable and functional solution through the creation of a normal state, is something that is not up for debate and it is not negotiable,” said Anastasiades without detailing what that is apart from wanting to remove the security guarantees that now have Turkey, Greece and the United Kingdom sharing responsibility.

“We do not want military presence because we are not under threat from anyone, because we are friends with all our neighbors, and because we have cultivated strong bonds like never before,” Anastasiades said, continuing his general language.

Turkey refuses to recognize Cyprus, a member of the European Union that Erdogan wants his country to join even though he also bars Cypriot ships and planes and has warships off the island trying to block foreign energy companies from drilling for oil and gas.