The Security Problem of Cyprus
Lieutenant General (Ret.);
Former Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Cyprus National Guard;
Former Minister of Defence of the Republic of Cyprus
27 November 2009
1. As we all know, negotiations are currently underway for a new political settlement in Cyprus.
Solving the security problem of Cyprus is a key element in these negotiations. Bearing in mind that solutions are often determined by the way a problem is defined, it is important to cast the Cyprus
Security Problem in its proper dimensions.
2. The current threats to Cyprus security, both internal and external, can be traced back to the birth of the Republic of Cyprus and before. Historically, external threats came from Cyprus’s volatile geopolitical environment and the competing interests of regional and global actors. Internal threats have emanated from the ethnic and religious differences among Cypriots and the way that such differences were exploited by external actors, mainly by Britain and Turkey.
3. What is important at this point is to assess the current and future relevance of such threats. This will help define the security problem of Cyprus more accurately and help provide solutions that will make sense both for Cyprus as well as for Western security in this troubled region of the world.