3 September, 1990

INTERCOMMUNAL NEGOTIATIONS AND THE EU MEMBERSHIP OF CYPRUS

(Section on EU of the Talking Points presented by President Rauf Denktas to US Congressman Mike Bilirakis on 29 August 1995)

In October, 1994 a series of informal consultations were held in Cyprus between President Denktas and the Greek Cypriot leader, Mr. Clerides, in the presence of the UN secretary-general's Deputy Special Representative, Mr. Gustave Feissel.

In the course of the consultations, President dentate reiterated the Turkish Cypriot side's readiness to conclude and sign a Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) agreement on the basis of the 28 June 1994 proposals of the UN secretary-general.

The secretary-general reported in this letter that "The discussions with the Turkish Cypriot leader between 6 and 16 June (1994) registered considerable progress towards agreement on the modalities for implementing the package of confidence-building measures which the two leaders had already accepted in principle... I concluded that there had now been sufficient progress for the United Nations to implement the package on the basis of the 21 March (1994) paper and subsequent clarifications."

The implementation of the UN proposed CBM package was the subject of discussion for over a year, and was seen as the necessary first step to overcome the deep crisis of confidence between the two sides before any successful outcome could be expected from the talks on an overall settlement.

On his part, throughout the informal consultations, Mr. Clerides put forward the issue of the EU membership of "Cyprus" as a precondition for further talks - be it the CBM package or the overall settlement. Mr. Clerides even refused to discuss the CBMs, thereby flouting the agenda set out by the UN secretary-general.

This is adequate proof that the Greek Cypriot side is solely interested in further consolidating its usurpation in Cyprus through the unilateral accession of the so-called "Republic of Cyprus" into the EU before a settlement.

Such an accession would undoubtedly prejudice a settlement in favor of the Greek Cypriot side and would very likely reduce the Turkish Cypriot side to the status of a minority within a Greek Cypriot unitary state.

This is totally unacceptable to the Turkish Cypriot side, not only because of the reason stated above, but also because the accession of "Cyprus" to the EU, before an agreed settlement, will amount to the political and economic union of the island with Greece, albeit indirectly.

On the subject of EU membership of "Cyprus", the Turkish Cypriot side has accepted the UN secretary-general's proposal of 1992 that EU membership will be taken up following the establishment of a working relationship between the communities within the context of the bi-communal and bi-zonal Federal Republic of Cyprus.

Para. 92 of the UN "Set of Ideas" reads: "Matters related to the membership of the federal Republic in the European Economic Community will be discussed and agreed to, and will be submitted for the approval of the two communities in separate referendums."

We are thus convinced that we have to put our house in order first by bringing the deep crisis of confidence between us and by achieving an overall settlement to end the current political division in the island, before we are in a position to discuss and confidently develop joint foreign and economic policy choices.

It is only then that the membership of "Cyprus" in the EU will become a plausible issue to be jointly and meaningfully discussed as the current confrontative relationship of the two communities will be replaced by a working co-operative relationship and as

(a) the political rights, obligations and status,

(b) the political and economic infrastructure and safeguards of the new relationship to be established, and

(c) the positions of Guarantor Motherlands (Turkey and Greece) vis-a-vis their relationship with the new federal Cyprus and the EU will be clarified.

As regards point (c) above, the membership of Cyprus in any international organization where both guarantor motherlands (Turkey and Greece) are not members in currently prohibited under the 1960 International Treaties.

This provision is part of the elaborate safeguards system designed to protect and maintain an equitable balance between the respective interests of the two constituent communities and the Guarantor Powers on Cyprus.

The European Union's treatment of the unilateral illegal appellation of the Greek Cypriot side as a valid application made for and on behalf of the whole of the island by the so-called "legitimate government of Cyprus";

its posture overruling the "right of consent" of the Turkish Cypriot side for the accession of Cyprus as a whole into the EU;

its resolution that the so-called "Government of Cyprus" "... will remain the European Union's sole interlocutor in the conduct of the structured dialogue" with the EU;

its decision that contacts with the Turkish Cypriot Community will be done in consultation with the so-called "Government of Cyprus";

and its argument that "the train of accession cannot now be stopped" are unacceptable impositions on the political free-will of the Turkish Cypriots and are seen as violations of the rule of law and of norms of morality and justice.

For the Turkish Cypriots, the above posture of the EU, amounts to the ignoring of their politically equal status and their 40 year just struggle to prevent domination by their Greek Cypriot partner. It is against these facts and background that Turkish Cypriots judge the behavior and actions of the EU towards "Cyprus".

British and US authorities and the UN have been trying to console the Turkish Cypriot side in the face of their public outcry against the accession of a divided "Cyprus" into a united Europe.

The British are saying that EU membership will not affect the rights and powers of the Guarantors (Turkey, Great Britain and Greece) as provided under the Treaty of Guarantee of 1960.

US Presidential Emissary Richard Beattie told a news conference in Turkey on 9 March 1995 that the US "supports the eventual accession (into the EU) of a Cyprus Federation which includes both communities".

The UN Deputy Special Representative for Cyprus Mr. Gustave Feissel said on 12 March 1995 that "Cyprus's" accession into the EU would not undermine Turkey's Guarantees and the island's bi-zonal character.

Immediately after these comments, the spokesman for the Greek Cypriot administration Mr. Cassoulides made public statements declaring that "The application (for EU membership) was submitted by the Government of Cyprus for the whole of Cyprus" (Cyprus Mail, 11 March 1995) and that "The government believes that Cyprus's accession to the EU will change substantially the guarantees... As far as we are concerned the issue is clear. I wish the Turkish Cypriots accepted that Cyprus is represented (at the accession talks) by the legal government of the Cyprus Republic. This acceptance would mean that the Cyprus problem can be quickly solved..." (Cyprus Mail, 14 March 1995).

The Greek Foreign Ministry European Affairs Under-Secretary, Mr. Yorgos Mangakis, is reported to have said in an interview published in the Greek Cypriot Agon newspaper of 13 August 1995 that "...now the European Union has already become operative. At present the European Union has become a rival of the United Nations. With the coming of the European Union into operation, the Cyprus problem has become independent of the `mortal unstable' state. I feel free to say that Cyprus has come out of the `grave', revived and from now on it is not on its own. With the commencing of the dialogue for European Union membership Cyprus has reached the stage of being a member of the European family.

At present Cyprus is part of Europe... Turkey has fallen into a frightfully difficult position. The fact that Cyprus has entered the course of European Union membership is hurting the Turks to a frightful extent... From now on the Cyprus ship has been saved from the rocks onto which she had been thrust and has now started to take way.

Today's Cyprus is not the Cyprus prior to March. Today Cyprus has another international status. Today Cyprus is under the protection of the framework of one of the greatest international organizations of the world such as the European Union. Because she has become an organic element of this organization. The greediness and threats of the Turks are not longer effective. Because of that the Turks are in a hopeless position".

It is clear from the public statements of the Greek Cypriot and Greek leaderships and their actions that their primary strategic objective, now, is EU membership, and that through the entry of Cyprus into the EU, they will

(i) do away with the Treaty of Guarantee;

(ii) do away with all the pretensions that bi-zonality is accepted by the Greek Cypriot side;

(iii) do away with bi-communality within the context of the power sharing and political equality provisions of any formula;

(iv) provide for all Greek Cypriots affected by "bi-zonality" to go back to their homes; and finally

(v) provide for the final victory of Hellenism in Cyprus.

It is not surprising, therefore, that since the developments leading to the adoption of the 6 March 1995 decision of the European Council and the 12 June 1995 Common Resolution, the Greek Cypriot stance on the Cyprus question has become more intransigent. Mr. G. Clerides, the Greek Cypriot leader, can now afford to tell us and declare to the world that Cyprus is a Greek island and that nothing can stop "Greek" Cyprus from its course to EU membership.

The Greek Cypriot emphasis has thus shifted from our mutually agreed 1977 and 1979 objective of power sharing within the context of a bi-communal and bi-zonal federation, to the entry of the Greek Cypriot usurped "Republic of Cyprus" into the EU as a unitary Greek Cypriot state with a protected Turkish Cypriot minority.

The European Union's argument that the accession of "Cyprus" into the EU will help facilitate the realization of a bi-communal and bi-zonal federal settlement is therefore a fallacy.

Former US Special Coordinator for Cyprus Ambassador Nelson Ledsky said in an interview in June 1995 that "My own experience over the Cyprus issue suggests that the question of membership inside Europe for Cyprus is a divisive issue rather than a unifying one. In the past it has been a source of misunderstanding between the two communities, not a source of understanding" (Turkish Daily News, 6 June 1995).