by Dimitri Konstantakopoulos
Since April 2016, US neoconservatives have been trying to change the status of Cyprus. It is for them both (1) to reunite the island (2) to deprive it of its army (3) but also to deploy the Turkish army under cover of NATO. The inevitable Victoria Nuland, who should have become Secretary of State if Hillary Clinton had been elected president, is maneuvering. This plan is supposed to tie Turkey to NATO and prevent its rapprochement with Russia.
ctoria Nuland, the US Assistant Secretary of State, did not spend much time and energy with Christmas and New Year celebrations this year. She has another very urgent and pressing problem to solve, before leaving the State Department, and this is the “Cyprus conflict”. The way she wants to solve this conflict is by transforming a second member of the EU, after Greece, into a protectorate. As the proposed solution for Cyprus is higlhy unstable, powers outside the EU will be provided also with a bomb inside it, that is with the possibillity of provoking a Bosnian-type conflict inside, not outside EU borders.
In the same time she wants also to get Turkey admitted immediately to the EU, by the window of the “Cypriot settlement”. By virtue of the provisions of the “Cyprus settlement” under consideration now, Turkey is invested after January 12 with many of the rights and powers (and none of the obligations) of the member-states. It will also legalize in Geneva, its military presence and its right to intervene militarily inside the European Union.
Such an outcome of the Geneva conference will have enormous strategic consequences for Europe and for the Middle East, transforming the whole “Eastern Meditarranean”, a sea lane of vital importance, into a kind of “Mare Nostrum” of the “Naval Forces”, excluding from there any “foreign” strategic influence (German, Russian or Chinese) and laying one more foundation for encircling Russia from the South with a kind of “security belt” and trying to hinder its access to the “warm seas”, a centuries long dream of British imperial planners. It will constitute the deeper change of the Mediterranean strategic landscape, since the eruption of the so-called Eastern Question or, at least, since the Greek national revolution, two centuries ago.
Annan Plan – Creating a Frankestein “state” in Cyprus
The type of settlement Mrs. Nuland wants to impose on Cyprus is a new version of the Annan Plan, rejected by the overwhelming majority of Cypriots during the 2004 referendum, in spite of enormous pressure they had suffered and a real terror campaign against them, warning the day of Doom would come on the aftermath of a No vote. The Annan Plan is violating all essential provisions of European, International and Constitutional Law, including the UN Charter. In the light of its provisions, it represents the most comprehensive effort undertaken, since the defeat of Nazism, in 1945, to impose a totalitarian system in any western country.
The Annan plan is instituting a kind of Frankestein state in Cyprus, where, among other things, the rule of majority (democracy) will be formally abolished, where there will be permanent vetos of the two Cypriot communities in every level of decision making and in all branches of power (executive, legislative, judicial), and, in the very probable case that system would be brought to an impasse, foreign judges will decide everything. In reality, the new “state” will be governed by foreign judges, concentrating upon themselves, three centuries after Montesqieu, all powers.
The solution provides for imposing to the new “state” a complete disarmament status, that is forbid it from the right of self-defense and the means to exercise it (an army). And do it in a permanent terms, not as a temporary measure, as it happened with Germany and Japan after the 2nd World War. In Orwellian terms, this is called “Cyprus demilitarized”. In reality there will be many traffic problems there provoked, because of the military vehicles of Britain, Turkey, other NATO countries and Police cars from various “Christian and Muslim countries” which will be present there. Britain and Turkey will have the legal right to intervene militarily inside a territory of the European Union.
Mrs. Nuland does not want to wait for any referendum. She knows that she can hardly win a second referendum in Cyprus (or in any other European country these times) on such terms. She has no time, she leaves the State Department on the 20th of January and she wants to end her career with a triumph, that is succeeding where MacMillan, Johnson, Kissinger, Bush, Annan, before her, failed miserably. There are also more essential reasons she wants to solve (or to create?) now this problem. Both the Greek and the European crises may enter a new and more dramatic phase next year. As for the Middle East, adjacent to Cyprus, it is waiting now for a Big Deal or a Big War.
The only way to do what she wants, in order to circumvent the provision for a referendum, is to have the President of Cyprus Mr. Anastasiades and the leader of Turkish Cypriots Mr. Akinci sign all that, or as much as they can of that. Then, Mr. Tsipras, Mr. Erdogan and Mrs May will endorse them and they will do something else also, legalize the Turkish military presence inside the European Union for some indefinite, as we write period. Mr. Juncker plans also to be there to applaud all that in the name of the European Union. The State Department has already warned the US Congress to be ready to adopt bills on Cyprus and the Commission altered all its programs for January 12. That day, CNN will announce to all the world that the Cyprus conflict has already been solved. When people will realize what happened, and they will begin to tear their hairs, there will be no Obama or Nuland to answer any questions. (And maybe that arranges many more people than one can figure out).
Mr. Anastasiades has already agreed to all that, Mr. Tsipras is under pressure also to agree. Mr. Juncker, Mrs. May and Mr. Erdogan already agreed. There remain some serious differences still on the composition of the Conference which remain to be settled as we write this article.
And the referendum? you will probably ask. Ok, they will promiss to make two referendums, one for the Greeks and one for the Turkish Cypriots. Maybe they will do them, but only if they are sure of the result. Anyway, even if those referendums take place, they will not have much sense, as it will be impossible for the inhabitants to return to the status quo ante. The Republic of Cyprus as we know it will be dead and the Turkish military presence on the island legal. As for the voters they will be in front of the choice to accept after all what is too late to change or risk a chaotic situation, if they refuse it post factum.
Is anything of all that legal?
Is all that legal? No, nothing here is legal. (Look below, for the opinion of the Honorary President of the International Association of Constitutional Law, Professor Kasimatis). On the contrary they represent a coup d’Etat stricto sensu and in two ways. They constitute the most serious possible breach of the constitutional order of the Republic of Cyprus and of the Treaties of the European Union, as Cyprus is a member of this Union.
No international conference and not even the President of Cyprus himself (or, for that matter, the Greek PM) has any right to sign agreements that infringe on the sovereignty of the Cypriot state (like for instance legalizing the Turkish military presence on the island, when numerous UN resolutions ask for the immediate withdrawal of Turkish forces, which invaded the island in 1974). Even more, nobody, including the President of Cyprus, has the right to change the constitutional structure of his state, much more, abolish it altogether! If they do it, it would be a coup d’Etat, in the strict legal sense of the word, that is a serious breach of the constitutional order of the Republic of Cyprus and, as this Republic is also a full member of the European Union, of the Treaties of the EU. Such things would be probably legal, only if we were living still under a medieval regime of absolute monarchies, not in Europe in 2016.
The whole Geneva conference reminds us very much of what happened in Vichy, France, on the 10th of July 1940, when the French National Assembly invested, with an overwhelming majority, Marshal Pétain with constituent powers. In spite of the fact that even it was the National Assembly itself which took this decision, everything Pétain did was considered a coup d’Etat and, inspite of being a hero of the First World War, he was condemned to death after the liberation of France. Charles De Gaulle has become what he became, in the history of France and of the world, because he refused to recognize this, supposedly legal coup, by the French deputies and Pétain and fought against it.
In Cyprus, unlike Pétain, Mr. Anastasiades not only did not get an authorization of his parliament for what he is doing, he even refused a demand of the opposition for an urgent debate.
The purpose of Geneva: Destroy Cyprus as a sovereign, democratic and independent state
By the way and until some weeks ago, all Cypriot and Greek governments since 1974 refused the Turkish proposal to convene such a conference, claiming that the only thing they could discuss about Cyprus with Turkey, was the withdrawal of the Turkish troops which invaded the island and remained there in spite of UN resolutions calling for their immediate withdrawal.
But this was until December 1st. That day, Mr. Anastasiades has announced to his citizens that he is accepting the proposal without explaining much why he is doing it, what will be the purpose and the agenda of this strange conference. He did not consult with political parties in the island or the Greek government before announcing his decision. The most absolute confusion was reigning in the island, until December 27, when the leader of the Turkish Cypriots Mr. Akinci, speaking to the Turkish Cypriot media, probably to warn Anastasiades not to deviate from what they had already agreed in secret, explained a little bit what will happen in Geneva.
According to what he said the Republic of Cyprus will not be present in the Geneva conference. All documents there will be signed by the “new Cyprus federation to be constituted”. In that way he revealed the real purpose of the operation, which is no other than to abolish the existing state in Cyprus (we repeat, a member of UN and the EU) and to create a new one, without asking the opinion of the citizens, without electing a Constitutional Assembly and without any authorization from anybody to do that. In that case, we don’t speak even about an operation of regime change. We have to speak about “country change”.
A Greek Cypriot politician who is friend of Mr. Akinci answered to him explaining that he better avoid much public talk.
The citizens of the Republic themselves are now in a state of complete shock, as they cannot believe that they will live in another state by January 12, they know nothing about it! Cyprus has a tradition of invasions and coups, but it is difficult still for the citizens to grasp the new and unbelievable reality that their own President is planning to sign the death of his own state! It is very difficult, psychologically and intellectually, to stop believing that Mr. Anastasiades is not their leader (even if some they may consider his as bad, wrong, corrupted or incompetent), but he is their killer!
If the Cyprus thing succeeds it will in itself represent a colossal advancement of new political technologies. The trick is simple and genious. For a rape to be recognized as a rape, the victim has to resist and denounce the rapist. But here the rapist and the person charged with denouncing the rape is the same, the President of the Republic.
The Greek factor
Anastasiades himself is the most powerful weapon US ever had in Cyprus. But Mrs Nuland has also another very powerful weapon and this is the situation in Greece, the confusion and the dependence of Greek political forces. The cooperation of Greece to this operation is deemed absolutely necessary for political reasons.
Mr. Tsipras in Athens, is now under enormous US pressure to give his consent and in a very difficult condition otherwise. SYRIZA is characterized also by a huge confusion regarding the Cyprus conflict. The Greek economy and society are very much into a death spiral, and the PM seems to be to the absolute mercy of Creditors, including the IMF. The German government nearly declared war against Greece, when his government decided, on the eve of Christmas, to give some financial peanuts to very poor Greek pensioners in a very real danger for their life and respecting the discipline of the program imposed to Greece (against the will of its people). The Finance Minister had to send a humiliating letter, promising more pension cuts in the next year, in order to get an armistice from Scheuble. If all that was not enough, Mr. Erdogan is threatening to fluid Greece with new waves of refugees.
From Pétain to Yeltsin – what is a coup d’Etat
Let us come back at this point to the term coup d’Etat we used. Maybe the readers are associating this with tanks and machine guns. Concerning the use of weapons they have to be a little patient. They will hear most probably their noise (as they heard it from Kiev), but they have first to wait until the Geneva operation succeeds and if it succeeds. But a coup d’Etat has nothing to do with the means used. It has to do with the breach of the constitutional (and European in our case) order of a given state.
Maybe the readers will also question if a head of a given state can make himself or participate in a coup d’ etat against his own state. Not only he can, he is a thousand times more effective if he chooses to do it, as the only thing he has to do is use and abuse the powers he already legally possesses and can use. For example, the legal head of the Greek state, King Constantin, has participated in a US-backed coup d’Etat against the constitutional order of his own state in 1967, by legalizing the government of the Colonels.
The same thing was done by the head of the Russian state Boris Yeltsin in 1991, when he dissolved the USSR and in October 1993, when he bombed his own Parliament, if we examine those events from the point of view of soviet and Russian constitutional order. But nobody in the West has noticed of course this legal aspect of things, as westerners liked very much what Yeltsin did. We refer to this example, because it bears great analogies to what they are trying to do now in Cyprus.
Professor Kasimatis on the legal aspect of the Geneva Conference
We asked the top Greek specialist on Constitutional Law and Honorary President of the International Association of Constitutional Law, Professor Yiorgos Kasimatis, about what and what is not legal for this Geneva conference to do. This is his opinion:
“The Republic of Cyprus is internationally recognized as a full sovereignty state, by its admission to the United Nations and to the European Union. Nobody, including the President of Cyprus, the Greek PM or any international conference are entitled to take any decisions infringing, directly or indirectly, upon the sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus or alter its constitutional structure. If they do it, it will be a very serious violation of both the Cyprus constitution and of the Treaties of the European Union. Only a constitutional assembly or the citizens themselves via a referendum, are entitled to adopt such measures. The only subject an international conference could discuss is how to apply the UN resolutions asking for the immediate withdrawal of Turkish occupation forces and the full restoration of the sovereignty of the Republic. It is not legal to connect or depend those international obligations, directly or indirectly, on any constitutional changes in the country. On the contrary, all third parties have the obligation to abstain from any actions or declarations, much more from signing any documents, which constitute a direct or indirect infringement upon the right of Cypriot citizens to decide by their own free will on the fundamentals of their state structure and on the international status of the Republic. All parties should do everything in their power to assure to the Cypriots the conditions for the free expression of their will, without any threats, blackmails, pressures, faits accmplis etc.”
Journalist and writer. He worked as an advisor on East-West Relations and Arms Control in the office of Greek PM Andreas Papapndreou (1985-88) and he was the chief correspondent of the Greek news agency ANA in Moscow (1989-99). He collaborated with Michel Pablo in launching the international review for self-management Utopie Critique. He has been a member of the Central Committee and the Secretariat and of the Committee on Foreign Policy of SYRIZA. He stopped having any relations with SYRIZA in July 2015.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Oceania Saker.