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Cyprus: The Time Has Come...
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CYPRUS: The Time Has Come... Written by: Antonia Dimou, Fellow, Center for Strategic Studies at the University of Jordan, and Editor Jordan, World Security Network (WSN), 07-Apr-08 Today, the Mediterranean is on the frontlines. Perhaps, it is the frontline of a global struggle for peace and development. In solving long-term conflicts, in achieving genuine development and reform, in all these ways, the Mediterranean is engaged in a great enterprise. The results will impact the entire world. And we, who are on that frontline, look at the friends of peace and freedom for support and partnership. What I would like to stress in this article, is that for Greece, the core challenge is the resolution of the Cyprus conflict. Given the headlines from elsewhere in the region, some may wonder whether the resolution of the conflict is, indeed, still at the core of solving regional conflicts. Let me just say, that the Cyprus conflict remains central not only to the regional but also to the international agenda. It seems that the time has come to find a viable and long-lasting solution to the problem. The resolution of the Cyprus conflict could guarantee stability in the Mediterranean region and serve as a precedent for solving other regional disputes. The most prominent is the Palestinian-Israeli one. Greece supports a solution to the problem of Cyprus for a number of geopolitical reasons. First, partition is not deemed beneficial for either Greece or Cyprus. The 1947 Indo-Pakistani partition is a good example. The partition was accompanied by an arms race that has ultimately turned into a nuclear rivalry. It is not difficult to realize, that an ongoing arms race in Cyprus would guarantee further instability in the region. Furthermore, the possibility of the permanent division of the Cypriot capital will constitute a detrimental development for the Israeli and Palestinian claims over an undivided Jerusalem, which is the major issue to be tackled in any Arab–Israeli peace agreement. A federal solution would unite Nicosia and would strengthen Israel’s and Palestine’s case for a similar preferred position on the final status of Jerusalem. A shared rule arrangement in Cyprus could also be the model for a broader regional structure between Israel, Palestine and Jordan. Perhaps, the major fear of Greece is the emergence of fundamental Islamic upheavals in the Northern part of the country. Radicalization of Islamic elements, due to economic and political unrest, is a possible development that runs contrary to regional security. To conclude, it would be useful if more U.S. and European/European Union (EU) diplomacy were directed towards the Cyprus issue. An agreement on the political future of the island may bring positive spill over effects for the Eastern Mediterranean and the wider region. Peacemaking and multilateral cooperation is a step towards a future of hope but it is only one step. The young people of the region know that their leaders need to revitalise the engines of peace to promote growth and development. When regional leaders address their youth, they can see their energy and belief in the future. What the young people of the region are asking their political leaders to do is to make a difference, to have the courage to make a difference, to act now to make a difference. Political leaders must respond...

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