The failure of Conference on Cyprus at Crans-Montana will go down as another lost opportunity to achieve a political settlement acceptable to both sides of the island.
From a cynic’s point of view this is not such a big deal as the majority of Cyprus’ inhabitants had medium or even low expectations with regard to what the peace talks in the Swiss Alpine resort could produce.
Much more damage could come from the fierce and very public blame game that the talks collapse has provoked.
- Akinci accused of ‘distorting facts’ on failed talks
- Inability to reach final outcome scuttled Crans-Montana
- Eide: Two sides are in a period of reflection
The leaders of the two communities as well as political party chiefs lash out regularly against each other maintaining the bitter atmosphere that the failed negotiations created both in the northern and the southern part of the island.
The process that literally stopped at Crans-Montana was, admittedly, the best chance for a solution since the 2004 referendum on the Annan plan. But, evidently, it was not good enough.
The fact that citizens on both sides of the divide embraced the blame game so easily instigated by their leaderships is a sign that people are not mature or savvy enough to see beyond the micro politics, the personal ambitions, and the taboos of their leaders.
The last failed attempt by the leaders to solve the political problem, brings up the argument that a settlement could be more easily found if people started from the bottom up, instead of trying to solve it from top down.
It may be about time Cypriots start defying their leader’s reluctance to work for a common goal. It may be time to start joint ventures and partnerships with counterparts from the other side of the Green Line.
Working successfully together, helps to build trust also. And then, finding political solutions is not that hard anymore.