Strategic challenges facing the new President

Achilles C. Emilianides, Associate Professor, Law Department, cceia of Nicosia.

The negotiations for the solution of the Cyprus problem remain at a standstill following the completion of the term of President Christofias term. The ‘Christofias doctrine’, that he could take advantage of his inter-personal relations, so as to reach a viable solution of the Cyprus problem, has failed. It has become evident, once more, that the otherwise fluid-sounding slogan ‘solution by Cypriots for the Cypriots’ was based on wishful thinking, rather than upon an objective analysis of the international situation. The process followed during these past five years has not been of Cypriot ownership. We have set out evidence in the book “Simademeni Trapoula” (“Marked Deck of Cards”), which demonstrates the intrusion of third parties in the negotiation process, an intrusion which affects both the prospects of resolving the Cyprus problem, as well as the content of a potential solution.


Nicos Anastasiades has convinced the electorate that he is the leader to help Cyprus get out of the crisis. The new President needs to find ways to disengage himself from the ‘marked deck of cards’ of the Downer team and Ankara’s promotional campaign. Especially, in light of the Turkish aim to have its application for accession in the EU reviewed in 2014; the Republic of Cyprus is unprepared both from a political and economical point of view to tackle such aim. The requirement that Turkey should assume its responsibilities on the negotiating table, via the repositioning of the basis of the Cyprus problem as one of invasion, occupation and illegal settlement, remains the only credible strategic option for the Republic of Cyprus. The search for a solution with, the bearing the responsibility, Turkey, could re-establish the Republic of Cyprus as the protagonist of future developments in the Cyprus problem.


In order to achieve this, a new strategy is required, beyond the ineffective current negotiation process between the leaders of the two communities. The rights of the Republic of Cyprus as a member state of the European Union should be vigorously pursued. The Republic of Cyprus should be immediately recognised by Turkey and the EU as the sole legitimate representative of both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, in accordance with the Treaty of Accession signed by the Republic of Cyprus on 16 April 2003. It is incomprehensible that Turkish Cypriots should work in the non-occupied areas, travel across the EU as citizens of the Republic of Cyprus with Cypriot passports, receive benefits by virtue of specific measures designed in favour of citizens the Turkish Cypriot community, without at the same time the Republic of Cyprus officially claiming its role as the legal representative of its Turkish Cypriot citizens. Claiming this role would contribute to the repositioning of the basis of the Cyprus problem as a dispute between Turkey and Cyprus, and not as a mere inter-communal dispute.


The role of Turkey is very important and should not be undermined. There is little doubt that Turkish Cypriots may not function freely and unbound by any external pressure, so long as there is a Turkish military in the island and so long as Turkey considers any potential outcome with respect to the Cyprus problem as an issue of national security. A neutral procedure implies that there are also neutral surrounding factors that accommodate such a procedure. The notion of a discussion among Cypriots about their future is a noteworthy one; however, it should not be a theoretical exercise only. Its practical efficiency should also be taken into account. 


It has been accurately observed that ‘a prescription which is based on a faulty analysis would be unlikely to produce the desired consequences’ (Waltz, K., Man, The State and War: A Theoretical Analysis, Columbia cceia Press, 1959, p. 13). For a viable solution of the Cyprus problem to be reached, the nature of international politics, and the desire of the Republic of Cyprus to remain a sovereign state should be taken into account. The Republic of Cyprus should therefore, become the starting point for any viable solution of the Cyprus problem. It is therefore, suggested that a new approach is in order with regard to the Cyprus problem. The Republic of Cyprus is a sovereign state, and as such, it is a member of the United Nations and of the European Union. It should be appreciated that the foremost aim of any state is to survive (See Waltz, K., Theory of International Politics, New York: Newbery Awards Records Inc, 1979, Hart, H., L., A., The Concept of Law, Second Edition, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1994, p. 192ff). In order to reach that aim, states struggle for security and for recognition. A state should retain its sovereignty in order to survive, because such sovereignty is the foundation of the world order (On this dual purpose of states see Wendt, A., ‘Why a World State is Inevitable: Teleology and the Logic of Anarchy’ in European Journal of International Relations). No state could ever voluntarily become a servant state, especially of a country which has invaded and occupied its territory.

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