The UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative in Cyprus, Colin Stewart, gave an interview to Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot newspapers, ‘Politis’ and ‘Yenidüzen’, which excited some and left others indifferent. In the main, however, it left most people indifferent. In theory, Mr Stewart says things that every well-meaning supporter of a solution agrees with, but which in practice, lead one down unfamiliar paths. He argues that compromise is the only answer to the problem of Cyprus and that only through compromise can everyone win. He not only agrees with but exalts anyone who advocates a compromise solution to the Cyprus problem that leaves no winners or losers, only both sides satisfied.

Mr Stewart gave as an example the Pyla agreement (which is not an agreement, but an understanding). “The Pyla agreement can help with other problems and build communication bridges, the Canadian official said, referring indicatively to the plan to build an EU-funded bicommunal photovoltaic park, for which a feasibility study is expected, with Pyla as a possible location.” He also said the United Nations does a lot of work to bring Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots together, especially young people, adding that every time people come into contact, they realize that the other side is not as bad as they thought or as they were taught.

Contacts and relations between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots are good, but where does the compromise on Pyla stand, to signal for the compromise that must also be made on the main issue, that is, the Cyprus problem?

The Turkish Cypriot [newspaper] ‘Kibris’ published an article yesterday by Ata Atun, who claims that the United Nations has reached different agreements with the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot sides on the issue of the Pyla-Arsos road, and that now the ‘Rules of Engagement’ will be an element of negotiation between the UN and the ‘TRNC’. And even that “UN Security Council Resolution 186 of 4 March 1964 is slowly losing its force”.

It does not mean that Ata Atun interprets the ‘understanding’ objectively, but the Turkish side is triumphant, as are those on the Greek Cypriot side who reached agreement with the United Nations. Can they both be right? Impossible. Can they both be wrong? Again, impossible. But the one side does not know what the United Nations agreed with the other side. Is this a compromise that can become the model for an agreement on the Cyprus problem? How can this happen when the compromise for the Greek Cypriot side is a Bizonal, Bicommunal Federation (BBF), but for the current Turkish Cypriot leadership and Ankara it is partition and two states?