Long shadows over Cyprus

Posted by Antonis D. Papagiannidis 17/07/2017 0 Comment(s) Economia Blog,

Some 43 years ago, the “Cyprus issue” started bedeviling international relations: the invasion of Turkish troops to the East Mediterranean island (after a failed coup to unseat the then-President of Cyprus, Archbishop Makarios, orchestrated by the Greek Junta of that time) purportedly to keep safe the Turkish-Cypriot minority, led to the occupation of almost 2/5 of the island by some 35.000 troops. Repeated rounds of negotiation under the auspices of the U.N. – the latest just ended in failure – left the Cyprus issue to fester.


Days after the latest failure, a new round of search for natural-gas starts – by French oil major Total, with Italian ENI alongside – at the Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone. Turkey denies to the Cyprus Government the right to proceed, without the explicit approval of the Turkish-Cypriots. Turkish naval forces stand by. French and U.S. vessels do some sort of pre-emptive peacekeeping around the “West Capela” platform sent to the Eastern Mediterranean by Total; the Israelis are just miles away – even the Russians are present. What will come out of this? Surely not anything close to stability…


Meanwhile, just as tension mounts, the Athens Government has decided to hand over to Nicosia the “Cyprus Files”, i.e. the hundreds of until now classified documents that are believed to reveal how the treasonous events of 1974 were prepared and how exactly the coup evolved on the ground. The past has long shadows.


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