The process for peace

By | News & Politics
Cypiot President Nicos Anastasiades, UN Secretary-General António Guterres and Turkish leader Mustafa Akinci in Geneva. Credit@

Recently, there seems to have been talks to reunify Cyprus, seemingly nullifying the border between the north and south which has existed for over 40 years. These talks seem to have advanced further than their predecessors, perhaps predominantly due to the intervention of the UN, who seemingly boast of history of acting as the catalyst in resolving similar situations, such as their monitoring of the ceasefire agreement in Syria in 2012; their presence, coupled with an influx of seemingly accomplished politicians with remarkable persuasive speaking abilities, may play a pivotal role in the resolve. Ultimately, the unification seems to be aiming to bring peace to Cyprus and, if the talks conclude successfully, perhaps similar complex situations may be impacted productively via replicating the actions utilised in this debate.

The divide seemed to occur in 1974 in the aftermath of the Turkish invasion, seemingly a direct result of the Greek military coup five days prior; spearheaded by Nikos Sampson, and achieved by parts of the Cypriot National Guard, the coup successfully accomplished their goal of announcing the former as President. In response, Turkey invaded, seemingly proclaiming Greece was attempting to take control of Cyprus. The UN orchestrated an original truce on the 22nd July, and were again involved in the August plans to conclude the conflict, seemingly showcasing their abilities as peacekeepers once more, as they may have nullified a potentially complex situation, and contributed to a quick, and accessible resolve. Whilst the demilitarised zone on the border may have originally been aiming to be a temporary resolution, it remains in place, yet if the UN is able to draw upon the techniques they used both in this debate and in others globally, perhaps they may instigate further progression.

Since 2015, talks seem to have advanced significantly, with Northern Cyprus lifting Visa requirements for Greek Cypriots perhaps instigating further developments in the ultimate quest for peace. Other acts, such as Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades presenting maps of 28 minefields in the north, seemingly concur with this suggestion.  Yet, it seems there has been desire for peace in the past, as well as recently, as after the original coup, provisions seemed to occur enabling Makarios, the maiden President of the Republic of Cyprus, to be reinstated. This may suggest both sides aimed to achieve stability in their new circumstances and, even with both Turkey and Greece seemingly possessing contrasting goals for the island, both desired a fair resolve.

The influence of politicians from a smorgasbord of European countries may also be of pivotal importance to the debate, as their expansive repertoires, and experience in similar predicaments, may enable a more balanced discussion, and ultimately conclusion. One of these key politicians may be Boris Johnson who, having boasted the title of Mayor of London, may be well equipped to productively impact Cyprus; 36.7% of London residents are foreign-born, the second largest immigrant population in the world and, with a smattering of over eight religions across these Londoners, perhaps Johnson has showed he may be capable at managing different nations, and opinions. Furthermore, his promotion to Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs may suggest he possesses the credentials to influence such a situation. Thus, the influence of other countries may suggest there are aims for the globe to be united under the common cause of elevating tolerance levels, perhaps providing solely beneficial outcomes.

Whilst talks seem to have been ongoing since the Geneva conference in 1974, in which it was deemed Turkey may retain the 36% of the island they had amassed, it seems recent talks may be accomplishing additional progress. This perhaps showcases the desire of both sides to attain peace, as aiming to reunify Cyprus may suggest both have become more tolerant and accepting of each other, which may in turn influence other global predicaments, utilising Cyprus as motivation. Ultimately, there may be a beneficial solution for all parties, perhaps impacting refugees superiorly; Greek Cypriots who made up 82% of the population in the north became refugees after the invasion yet, with these talks, perhaps their standard of living may increase.

How may the talks to unify Cyprus act as motivation for the UN to intervene in other complex situations?


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