OPINION

Heading for a new dispute

The Cyprus issue has reached a point where no solution can possibly please Nicosia (or Athens). With all lines of defense breached after 1974, the Athens-Nicosia diplomatic front can only accept a deal providing for a new state that bears no relation to a modern EU member country. Should a new, unified Cyprus emerge, it will be nothing more than a newfangled constitutional concoction by the great powers to create, not another modern and hopeful democracy, but a state that will serve the military needs of third parties and sustain the balance of power in the Eastern Mediterranean. Prospects for Greece’s top national issue are bleak. The partition of the island looks unavoidable. International law has long been thwarted, having been defeated by Turkish lawlessness and the strategic concerns of the US and Britain in the region. Furthermore, hopes of a just settlement have been undermined by Athens’s failure and unwillingness to follow a steady and consistent policy that would convince its interlocutors that Greece sees Cyprus as a top national security concern and it does not merely expect the international community to mete out justice after the Turkish invasion and occupation have been condemned by the UN. Nicosia and Athens must, first of all, take a stance on the solution, which is expected to emerge from the process brokered by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. If the interested parties approve of the Annan blueprint as a viable plan, when it is not, if the European Commission authorizes the deal as being in line with the acquis communautaire, only to shake off the burden of a divided, problematic newcomer, then all that all sides – including Greece – will have accomplished is to prepare the ground for a new Cyprus issue.