The German foreign ministry has weighed in on the as yet fruitless effort to reach a Cyprus settlement, rejecting the position of Ankara and the Turkish Cypriot community which is a two-state solution that effectively recognises de jure the 46-year Turkish occupation of over one-third of the island following its 1974 invasion and occupation.
In a statement released after the conclusion of the informal, UN-sponsored 5+1 (the Republic of Cyprus, the Turkish-Cypriot community and the three “guarantor powers” (Britain, Greece, and Turkey) talks in Geneva, the ministry underlined that the Turkish proposal is incompatible with the decades-long framework of the UN-sponsored talks, as enshrined in a host of UN Security Council resolutions, which is the creation of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation, with the term “political equality” between the two communities added later.
The ministry stressed its unswerving dedication to that framework.
Though the Republic of Cyprus is an EU member-state, Brussels and Berlin accepted the Union’s exclusion from the talks, reportedly giving in to demands from Turkey and the UK, which has left the Union but retains sovereign military bases on the island.
The German foreign ministry described the results of the talks as disappointing but welcomed the intention of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to issue a new invitation to the parties in the coming weeks.
Berlin noted that given the positions submitted by the parties in advance one could well have predicted that the talks would be exceptionally difficult.
The aim of the stalled talks was to lay the groundwork for full-fledged settlement negotiations. The last effort to achieve that end was the failed talks four years ago in Crans Montana, Switzerland, which were bedevilled by the Turkish Cypriot side’s insistence, at Turkey’s behest, that the institution of three guarantor powers be maintained.
The guarantor powers regime was enshrined in the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee between Cyprus, Greece, and Turkey and was one of three treaties (the others being the Treaty of Establishment and the Treaty of Alliance) that established the Republic af Cyprus after the Greek-Cypriots’ five year war of liberation from British colonial rule.
Ankara speciously invoked the treaty as justification for its invasion and occupation of one-third of the island.
The German foreign ministry noted that given developments over the last months even the informal talks were not self-evident.
Berlin declared its staunch support for the continuation of talks.
The ministry noted that it is crucial that the parties not only express their political will to compromise but to also demonstrate it in practice as that is the precondition for further talks.