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New Efforts to Find a Solution Falter
2001-09-11 00:24:39

As a result of this coordinated international effort, a new round of proximity talks between the two communities was launched, under UN auspices in December 1999. Five rounds of proximity talks have taken place so far, with the full support of the US and all the other members of the UN Security Council.

In a new outburst of intransigence, however, the Turkish Cypriot leader is now refusing to take part in a sixth round of proximity talks, unless the preconditions he has set are first met, thus casting a dark shadow over the future of this process and endangering the progress made so far.

The Government of the Republic of Cyprus firmly believes that the only way forward is through a sustained and result-oriented process of negotiations, with a view to finding a mutually acceptable solution which will reunite Cyprus and its people. With this in mind, it has made numerous gestures of goodwill in an effort to facilitate the achievement of a solution. It has, for example, put forward a comprehensive proposal for the complete demilitarization of the island, which was rejected by the Turkish side.

The Cyprus Government has also extended an invitation to the Turkish Cypriot Community to participate in the Cyprus-EU negotiating team, which was also rejected by the Turkish side.

In addition, a policy of rapprochement and reconciliation between the two communities in Cyprus, through a program of bicommunal contacts at the grass roots level, which has the support and encouragement of the US and others, has been frustrated throughout the years, as a result of the fact that the Turkish side has in most cases banned the participation of Turkish Cypriots in such bicommunal meetings and projects.

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