British former politician, barrister and former consultant to founding President Rauf Denktaş, Michael Stephen has said that the best way to solve the Cyprus problem is the “two-state-model”.
Stephen, a former Conservative Party MP, was speaking at an online meeting regarding the Cyprus problem organised by the British Turkish Cypriot Association (BTCA), BRT reports.
Stephen said that he had been working with the Turkish Cypriot Community when he was a member of parliament, and that time, the international community had regarded the Greek Cypriots as “victims” and that he had discovered that the Turkish Cypriots had been subjected to “genocide“.
He said that the Greek Cypriot politicians in the 1960s had pursued the policy of “establishing Greek domination in Cyprus” or “uniting Cyprus with Greece” and that today’s Greek Cypriot politicians also had the same dreams.
Role of International Actors in the Cyprus Problem
Stephen said that international actors are part of the Cyprus problem, and that the UN and the European Union (EU) have recognised and legitimised the Greeks Cypriots as the sovereign government of the island.
The EU acted unlawfully, Stephen said, adding that there were lawyers who had argued that the Greek Cypriot side could not join the EU without the permission of the guarantor countries Britain, Turkey and Greece, and that Cyprus had been accepted as a single country even though Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots did not agree to it.
Stephen stated that Britain was unable to recognise the TRNC for fear of endangering their military bases also used by the USA in the Greek part of Cyprus.
Stating that Britain is trying to maintain the status quo, to distance the Turkish Cypriots from the two-state solution and to persuade them to accept another version of the Annan Plan.
Stephen said, “The UK government and the US do not care about the Turkish Cypriots. For them, Cyprus is only of strategic value.
“Britain is ready to sacrifice its human rights and legal obligations to protect its bases on the island and instead focus on its strategic interests“, he said.
Turkey Should Use Its Regional Power to Influence Muslim Countries
Stating that “a strong country like China can recognise the TRNC”, Stephen said that Bangladesh had previously recognised the TRNC but had withdrawn this decision because of pressure, that the problem could change with the recognition of the TRNC by a few Muslim-majority countries. Muslim countries should use their positions of power to recognise the TRNC, he said.
Stephen emphasised that at the unofficial Geneva conference on Cyprus, which was led by the United Nations (UN) with the participation of Cypriot parties and guarantor countries, in a 5 + 1 format, TRNC and Turkey had no one they could trust, and that the best way to solve the problem was the two-state model.