Yusuf Kanli, hurriyetdailynews.com
The leaders of the two peoples of Cyprus were reported to be in agreement over completing their search for convergences in all headings within their competency by the end of July and push the talks to a new stage with a five-party conference to bring an end to one of the most intractable problems of international diplomacy, the Cyprus issue.
Could the two leaders indeed achieve such an ambitious target and finish off a problem that has become far bigger than the island itself? Could it be possible for the Greek Cypriots to stop pretending as if they were discussing federation but indeed demanding a unitary state? Could Turkish Cypriots stop pretending as if they were talking federation but promoting the idea of a confederation? Naturally, the island is bigger than the two leaders and whatever they might come up as a “Cypriot agreement” to end the “problem of the Cypriots” would be just another Cyprus plan unless that agreement was endorsed in separate and simultaneous referenda of the two peoples.
That is the catch phrase… The need to get the agreement, which might earn the two leaders the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize, endorsed separately by the two peoples of the island compels the two leaders to engage in public diplomacy as well. The Greek side has been quite good at that. They have always been so. On the Turkish Cypriot side however, since the political arena was orphaned by the departure of legendary Rauf Denktaş, there has always been a serious problem in that area...