There can be no return to the conditions of the 1960’s in Cyprus, UN Secretary-General Special Advisor on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide has said.
Eide, was in Ankara last week for talks with Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioğlu.
In reference to guarantees, Eide told Turkish daily ‘Hurriyet’ that “Security should not be reduced just to a question of troops and military issues. Security is first and foremost living together in peace in a successful federal construction. Sometimes I feel that the security questions are too narrow. Guarantees or troops are a part of it, but we have to see the complexity of the situation.
Maybe a solid conclusion on governance that provides for the safety of the Turkish Cypriots, so that that there is no way that the events of the 1960s can happen again, may also be the key to any kind of adaptation of a security regime,” he added.
“We have to involve the guarantor states in the negotiations: Turkey, the U.K., and Greece. The official positions are well known, Turkey wants guarantees to go on and Greece wants them to go. We are looking for ways to make sure that everybody in Cyprus feels secure, but in such a way that their security is not undermining the security of somebody else,” Eide said.
“This is what we call ‘cooperative security,’ in the sense that Turkish Cypriots need to be safe as the smaller community and they need to be safe not only in the physical or military sense but also in the political construct. There must be ample space for them to preserve their political and cultural identity in the constituent state. At the same time, we want the Greek Cypriots to feel themselves confident and safe in the construct too,” he added.
Earlier last week, President Mustafa Akıncı released a statement which stressed the importance of Turkey’s guarantor status to make the Turkish Cypriots feel secure.
“Turkish Cypriots see their security in the continuation of Turkey’s guarantor status,” Akıncı said.
Eide described these as “sensitive issues” that will be “discussed later on.”
“What I’m now doing is spending time with the leaders of the guarantor powers and the leaders in Cyprus, to see what kind of mutual accommodation can be found. The key goal that we all now agree on is that both communities need to feel security not only today but in the long run, in such a way that enhances the other’s security. If one has security to the detriment of another, then it is not producing security overall,” he added.