The Crans-Montana Conference on Cyprus – Fanoulla Argyrou, Journalist and Researcher, 14 July 2017
Comments on the Crans-Montana Conference on Cyprus
14th July 2017
Marta Murzanska (M.M.): Our guest today is Mrs. Fanoulla Argyrou, a journalist and a writer based in London. Thank you for joining us and welcome.
Fanoulla Argyrou (F.A.): Thank you very much.
M.M.: The Conference on Cyprus in Crans-Montana collapsed without the settlement and many are actually wondering what is going to happen next. But first, according to your opinion, what happened in Crans-Montana during those negotiations? Why did they fail?
F.A.: What happened in Switzerland, apart from the theatrics, I would say, and the holidays for those gathered there, it was one more effort to legitimize the results of two Turkish invasions back in 1974, and at the end recognizing the occupied area as a legitimate Turkish constituent state.
If I can go back in time, because everything starts from forty three years ago, on the 16th of August 1974, when the Foreign Office decided our policy over Cyprus, and which was adopted at the time of the geographical federation, that is the bi-communal bi-zonal federation as we know it and, all their efforts have been concentrated ever since in achieving this and securing the acceptance of the Greeks in Cyprus, that is the Republic of Cyprus. For forty two years they have failed all these efforts, and the last chapter, as we have witnessed, was in Switzerland, in Geneva and Crans-Montana. I said theatrics, because, you know, they are not looking for a proper solution. First of all, Greece and ‘the Greek Cypriot leader’ in inverted commas, because the republic of Cyprus was not represented. Turkey always wanted since 1974 a five-party conference and that is what was achieved. They wanted the abolition of the Treaty of Guarantee and the withdrawal of the Turkish troops. In this effort we saw ‘the Greek Cypriot leader’ in inverted commas Mr. Anastasiades to offer even more unmandated [sic] concessions to Turkey to achieve this. And how did Turkey reply? With a fistful of notes. And that was the end of the latest effort.
And you know something, even if Turkey had capitulated to the demands of abolishing the Treaty of Guarantee and immediately withdrawing all her Turkish-occupying forces, it would still come out triumphant because the end result from our side was the capitulation of accepting a constituent Turkish state in the occupied areas.
M.M.: So what is next Mrs. Argyrou? What do you think will happen next? Are the negotiations over?
F.A.: No, I don’t think they’re over, I think one way or the other they will commence again. But you know something, as long as there are no leaders in Cyprus determined with guts and determination to swing the problem from a bi-communal dispute as they started it back in 1977, nobody had the courage to swing this to its proper direction, that is of invasion and occupation, bring the situation back to its basics, which is invasion and occupation, injustice, violation of human rights. I don’t think we will see any change, but the talks will continue on the same line as left in Switzerland.
And you know something, I see the leaders in Cyprus with this policy, they remind me of the Turkish whirling dervishes, when they go round, and round, and round until they drop. So how the situation is in Cyprus, unfortunately, and will continue like this until we have a leader courageous enough to do this great change. You know, I hear them saying that they all call now for a new strategy. But what new strategy? They don’t say much. They all support the bi-zonal bi-communal federation and I don’t see how this can make any difference to what the present government is following. Until they come out clearly and specifically against this solution and take a line for the liberation of Cyprus, for justice, for real justice, because there can be no justice and no fair solution unless the human rights violations are addressed and people can go back to their homes, and only then Cyprus can become a proper democracy, when the rule of law is respected and enforced.
M.M.: Mrs. Argyrou, thank you very much for joining us today and thank you very much for your time.
F.A.: Thank you very much indeed.