NICOSIA — Cyprus’ President, in a televised news conference, said a more decentralized Federal government would work better if a reunification deal is reached with the ethnically divided nation’s breakaway Turkish Cypriots.
He insisted that giving more authority to the island’s Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot zones would reduce deadlocks in decision-making at the Federal level and make a peace accord more successful even though no one has come close to making it happen since Turkey unlawfully seized the northern third of the island in a 1974 invasion.
Anastasiades didn’t specify which responsibilities would be deferred to the zones on either side if a unity deal is reached, but said any decentralization wouldn’t compromise Cyprus’ territorial integrity, sovereignty, security or economy.
He said granting more power to either side to decide on issues of “direct concern” would ease Turkish-Cypriot concerns of domination by the majority Greek Cypriots and would roll back veto powers Turkish-Cypriots seek in decision making on a federal level.
The Cypriots are anxious that Turkey is eyeing taking the whole island, a member of the European Union Turkey wants to join even though it won’t recognize the legitimate government and bars Cypriot ships and planes.
Reunification talks collapsed in July, 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Turkish-Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci refused to remove an army on the occupied side and wanted the right to militarily intervene again when they wanted.
(Material from the Associated Press was used in this report)