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Turkey could be an ally of a reunited Cyprus

5 September 2016

 

Turkey could be an ally of a reunited Cyprus, however, the island will have its own security forces but no army,  President Nicos Anastasiades has said.

He added that he will inform the public on the details of the negotiations, as soon as he can talk about the whole process.

In an interview with Greek Cypriot daily ‘Politis’, Anastasiades covered a broad range of issues, including the financing of a Cyprus solution.

The president said that there is “unlimited potential” in terms of the economics benefits of a solution, arising from the stability that would come from a political settlement.

I trust within two months we will have a clearer picture based on the studies being prepared by the IMF as well as the World Bank,” he said, referring to the setting up of a substantial fund which would cover those who might seek compensation for loss of property.

Anastasiades noted that the negotiating process is at a critical stage.

If the following meetings with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci are fruitful and meet our expectations, and we hope they will be fruitful, then we can speak with greater certainty of a positive conclusion in this long negotiating process,” the president said.

He added that he anticipated that the new plan would be better than the 2004 Annan Plan. There would, for example, be no presidential council, a feature which was unpopular with the Greek Cypriots.

But he gave no further details about the executive branch of the federal government, such as a rotating presidency, as these had not yet been resolved.

Anastasiades said that there would be no army on the island, however other security forces would be needed, such as a federal police, gendarmerie, a coast guard and an anti-terrorism force to secure Cyprus’ borders.

Existing permanent military personnel would be re-assigned to new duties.

Regarding the judiciary, this had been thoroughly discussed. If there was a difference in a constitutional matter, either federal or in the state governments, or between the two states, the EU has a list of judges who would preside uniquely over that particular issue.

This solution was an improvement, Anastasiades said, in comparison to having permanent judges founded on the constitution of 1960.

The president deflected the criticism that politicians and media have not been kept informed during the negotiations. He would bring the public up to speed on the talks, he said, as soon as he was able to cover the whole process and not give out information in a piecemeal fashion.

Anastasiades also warned those who were trying to thwart the solution and create a negative atmosphere, that people would reject efforts to keep society divided, prior to a referendum.

I believe society will react,” he said.

Cyprus Weekly

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