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NO SEX PLEASE, WE’RE CYPRIOTS: This daring art project at the Nicosia Pancyprian Gymnasium caused a bit of a stir this week with some defending its artistic nature, and others, like the school’s Religious Education teacher, denouncing it as profanity. And who says school can’t be fun?

Dark room: arbitration fears and touchy subjects

No PM for Eide
I got word from a senior UN source following newspaper reports on Wednesday suggesting that UN envoy Espen Barth Eide is pursuing a “personal agenda” on the Cyprob, and that this is not unrelated to political developments in Norway, where there will be a general election in September.

I was told, in no uncertain terms, that Eide is absolutely not running for prime minister and that, if he were, he would not be hanging around in Cyprus.

Arbitration fears
As for the talk going around of arbitration—the great Greek Cypriot taboo since the Annan Plan period—it is worth remembering that it was President Anastasiades himself who said in an interview that the UN could do better, and that a new methodology was needed.

It is possible that the UN responded to his concerns by putting forward some methodology ideas that Anastasiades’ team did not like. But I know that the UN is also allergic to arbitration, after getting eaten alive over the Annan Plan. And no one can deny that we need something new to save these dying talks from the ashes.

Talking about dying talks, a friend and very good source was in Strasbourg this week and had the chance to test the sentiment among the members of the European Parliament (MEPs) on the Cyprus negotiations process and the prospects for a solution. Well, the news is not positive, I am afraid. The dominant sentiment among MEPs is exasperation. They find it almost impossible to understand how such a hopeful peace process could come to a deadlock because of a stupid incident.

The MEPs are anything but impressed with the decision of the Republic of Cyprus parliament to commemorate the 1950 Enosis referendum at schools, following the lead of a neo-Nazi, deeply racist political party. “The fact that the proposal was made by a far-right party would have been enough reason for it to be rejected in most democratic EU countries,” said one MEP.

…and doom
Yet the negotiations did reach a (hopefully temporary) deadlock, whether the people of the European Parliament can comprehend the development or not. Most MEPs (of the few that still have an interest in the peace talks) are hugely disappointed in both leaders. They believe President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Akinci should have been able to rise above the silly (to say the least) Enosis crisis and keep the negotiation process intact.

The prevalent feeling is that the window of opportunity was kept wide open until the end of autumn 2016. After that, there was a slight chance remaining, and most likely this has now been lost. The worrying and hugely undemocratic developments in Turkey, and the direction the country has taken, do not allow anyone to believe that Ankara (or rather Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan) could play a positive role in the solution any more. Even those MEPs who have always been very keen on talking about the Cyprob are now choosing to avoid the subject.

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One comment

  1. …silly is if either leader gets riled by the opposing Legislature’s “right-wing”.

    While the “Greeks”, and the “Turks”, are no different to each other in this regard, neither leader was elected by them. It was Cypriots, as Cypriots, who voted for these two Leaders; clearly, those not Cypriot, call them “Greeks”, and “Turks”, have their own candidates to choose from. Something to think about.

    Mr. Akinci has a big role to play by demonstrating that there is a Cypriot identity, that as Individuals we are Cypriots, we choose to be in this regard without the need for further distinction or discrimination. And that being Bicommunal means that as Persons there are a set of Cypriot Constituencies to choose from, to enjoy and to sustain, as Persons.

    If he represents Cypriots who as a Constituency want to represent themselves as Turkish, I ask, does Cyprus, being a Cypriot, being an Individual, as a Cypriot, matter more to him? It is hard to see, since his election evidence of this conviction. ELAM gave him the perfect opportunity to demonstrate it clearly. I think he failed again to show nothing more than his “Turkishness”, unlike the Cypriot his electors want him to be, to rise above, he is or has become like “them”.

    …already this realisation is occurring in the north, that as Cypriots, politically a mistake will be made paying so much attention to what is a small success for an extremely Nationalistic sentiment that opposes sentiments equally Nationalistic. Cypriots aim to live in a State, a Country based on Universal Values and Principals, unlike the “Greeks” and “Turks”, I like to call the other half.