By Hanif Ghaffari

UN and the puzzle of Cyprus

October 24, 2018 - 9:31

TEHRAN - The "Cyprus file" is still open at the United Nations. UN officials have stated that the perspective of resolving the disputes over this issue remains positive. This is while Greek and Cypriot officials have said that reaching any agreement on this issue requires Turkey's cooperation.

On the other hand, Greece and Cyprus play an important role in the European Union, and Turkey's membership in the EU requires their positive vote. So as long as Turkey does not accompany Nicosia and Athens in resolving the Cyprus case, Turkey doesn't hold a chance to be part of the United Europe. Therefore, Cyprus's case can't be analyzed unilaterally in the international system.

 As it has been noted, the two sides emphasized that the resumption of negotiations between Greece and Turkey on Cyprus reunification depends on Ankara. Greek Alternate Foreign Affairs Minister Giorgos Katrougalos told Sputnik in an interview that for the same reason, he can't predict when the talks would be renewed.

"I cannot be positive about [whether the talks will be resumed before the end of the year], it very much depends on how ready is the other side, Turkey, to proceed with that," Katrougalos said on the sidelines of the Rhodes Forum of the Dialogue of Civilizations Research Institute held on October 5-6.

The Greek alternate minister noted, nevertheless, that despite the lack of progress in the talks, there has been progress in the general understanding of the problem.

"[It happened] exactly because it has been reconfirmed and accepted in the so-called Guterres' framework ... that the Cyprus issue is not an issue between two communities, it is an issue of international law," Katrougalos indicated.

The reality is that regarding Cyprus membership in the European Union and its active membership in the United Nations and other international organizations, Turkey faces a difficult and complicated situation in the case. If the Cyprus case isn't settled and the United Nations doesn't approve the Cyprus settlement process, there will be virtually no prospect for Turkey joining the European Union.

Although Turkey's membership in the European Union is affected by many factors, including the severe opposition of some European countries, and negotiations between Ankara and Brussels are slowly taking place, but Erdogan and other Turkish authorities know well that one of the most important prerequisites for Turkey's membership in the EU is about solving the Cyprus conflict.

The Cyprus issue has deep historical roots and various internal and international dimensions.  Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops entered the island. The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was declared in 1983 and is recognized only by Turkey while the international community considers is as a part of the Republic of Cyprus.

However, since the time of Secretary General Kofi Annan (when a referendum was held in Cyprus), the UN suggested numerous solutions, but the disputes have not yet come to an end. For example, some former United Nations officials have expressed hope that the Cyprus case would be resolved by the end of 2010. We are now in 2018, and this case has yet to be closed! Will the international players be finally able to resolve the puzzle of Cyprus in the near future? 

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