| CYPRUS PROBLEM |Phileleftheros



“On my way to Limassol from Nicosia, I received a phone call that indicated there seems to be prospects for a more active involvement of the EU in the Cyprus problem.” You remember, I would like to think, the phone call that President Christodoulides received – on Thursday, June 8 – while he was travelling along the highway, in the presidential car, on his way to Limassol to inaugurate a photographic exhibition on Famagusta. It must have been very important indeed, otherwise he would not have jubilantly announced it that very evening to the people attending the exhibition, in order to declare that ‘our efforts are paying off’.

In the days leading up to the important and optimistic phone call and in the context of Nikos Christodoulides’ major campaign for a more active involvement of the European Union in efforts to resolve the Cyprus problem, there had been much discussion about Angela Merkel, whose name the President mentioned as an example, in response to a journalist’s question. Domestically, many appeared convinced that the president’s reference was not at all incidental, they were sure that something specific had been said in his meeting with Olaf Scholz, while some took it a step further, suggesting a behind-the-scenes role on the part of Nicos Anastasiades when he rushed to meet with the former chancellor shortly before he retired.

Since then, 108 days have passed. We do not know who the President’s interlocutor was who conveyed the optimistic message to him, nor do we have any indication that the President’s reference to Angela Merkel’s name was not incidental, nor have we seen the ‘prospects’ unfold, of course. Personally, I think that both the phone call and the reference to Merkel were one of those flourishes / paddings / tail wags that the president is wont to put in when he speaks, as if he doesn’t know how to put a full stop or finds it difficult to do so, hence (as we have often seen) he is left exposed just because he says more than he has to. I could, however, be proven wrong. We shall see.

But what if September, which the President had highlighted as a milestone of important developments, is drawing to a close without any positive prospects on the horizon, what if there is no sign of “more active EU involvement”, what if we don’t even have an envoy appointed by the UN Secretary General? I have been informed that a few days ago at the UN General Assembly we achieved a victory, we managed to anger the Turkish side. It was irritated because President Christodoulides stayed in the room during Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s speech. It is not me saying that. Diplomatic sources are saying it. Which diplomatic sources saw the Turkish side getting irritated by the fact that Christodoulides stayed in the room, even though they weren’t troubled when Anastasiades had stayed and even shook hands with Erdogan, I don’t know. Probably… the same ones who filmed the theatrical video of the angry president slamming his hand on the table and telling [Anna Koukkides-] Procopiou: “I’m embarrassed by all this… and I hope I get answers.” [Translator’s note: Author refers to comments made by Christodoulides during a meeting held on September 2 with various officials in response to the racist attacks that had taken place in Chlorakas and Limassol] Erdogan, though, must not have been in the room when our president was speaking.  But let’s hope that someone conveyed to him the momentous, and I may say moving, sixth-grade message sent by Christodoulides, so that he would stop ranting about two states: “Although I grew up in a divided country, I also grew up in a country full of hope for reunification.



Born in Famagusta. He studied journalism in Athens and has been working as a journalist since 1995. He worked for the Dias Media Group magazines as well as for Special Editions. Since 2007 he has been a member of staff at the Phileleftheros Group as Editor-in-Chief of monthly and weekly magazines. At the same time, since 2021 he is in charge of the Sunday supplement “Elefthera” of the Phileleftheros newspaper. He also contributes as a columnist for the various publications of the Group.

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