Cyprus dispute – Biden´s visit will not “upgrade the north”

Biden´s visit will not

“upgrade the north”

Comment by Ralph Kratzer

BidenThe currently visit by Joe Biden, the vice president of the United States of America to Cyprus is causing quite a stir in South Cyprus. Interesting, as is always the choice of words of Greek Cypriots in the media, as eg “South Cyprus will be downgraded”, “North Cyprus will be upgraded”, “breakaway regime”, “pseudo state” … and so on!  How can talks between the Turkish Cypriot president Eroglu and his Greek Cypriot counterpart Anastasiades ever take place on an equal footing when the north of the island is always vilified as a “pseudo-state”? I wish our president Eroglu a lot of strength in the upcoming negotiations.

This is what I found yesterday in the Greek Cypriot “Cyprus Mail”:

US Vice President Joe Biden will meet Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu in his residence tomorrow to downplay complaints from political parties that the north is to be ‘upgraded’ by the meeting.

In a statement yesterday, the office of the Presidency said Nicosia has received assurances from the US government “that in order to avoid any attempt to exploit the meeting for other purposes, the Vice President will meet Mr. Eroglu not in his usual office but in an adjoining building, without any symbols whatsoever.”

Biden will see Eroglu in the latter’s capacity as leader of the Turkish Cypriot community, the statement added, indicating that Eroglu did not have the status of head of state.

Cyprus disputeThe adjacent building cited is understood to be situated in the same complex as Eroglu’s ‘presidential’ office. According to a White House briefing, the meeting will take place with Eroglu on Thursday afternoon at his residence.

“The visit by the American Vice President to the Republic of Cyprus, a strong strategic partner of the USA, as it was characteristically mentioned, aims to further cultivate our bilateral relations and the role that the Republic of Cyprus, following also the discovery of hydrocarbons within its Exclusive Economic Zone, as an energy and financial hub in the region,” the Presidency’s statement added.

Since Biden’s trip was announced, opposition parties – DIKO, EDEK the Citizens’ Alliance and to a lesser extent AKEL – have been warning that the status of the breakaway north would be enhanced once the American VP travels there and meets officials.

The ‘Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus’ is not recognised by the United Nations or any country other than Turkey. Opposition parties here insist however that Biden’s trip to the north will somehow impart legitimacy to the breakaway regime….

Read the whole article in Cyprus Mail – click here

View a comment on this topic in Cyprus Mail as well – click here

And a further opinion in the Turkish Hürriyet Daily – click here