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‘Biden factor’ is a plus for Cyprus

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The outcome of the exploratory meeting in Geneva should not have come as a surprise or disappointment to the Greek Cypriot leadership.

Turkey’s ambitions have been clear from the outset, and the European Union and the UN’s reluctance to dissuade Ankara from being uncooperative should have been anticipated.

Besides, Turkey has no reason to conform to any request as it also faces no sanctions or repercussions for behaving as the bull in the china shop.

Especially when there is no unified front opposing Ankara’s imperialistic revival dreams.

Riding high on the Republic’s energy vanity resulted in opportunities being lost when a pro-solution Turkish Cypriot leader was in office, regardless of Ankara’s grip in the occupied north.

And then, naturally, Turkey installed a hard-liner to help push through its agenda, maintaining it as a key player in East-West and regional Arab world issues while exerting pressure on EU leaders not to close the window for future Union membership.

The EU cannot accept Turkey’s demands for a confederation as this would mean allowing a second state to secure EU accession when enlargement has been halted, and Turkey knows this all too well.

President Erdogan also played his cards right and pitted the US and Russia against each other, seeking warmer ties with the Kremlin to dupe Washington to drag it back to its own world of influence in exchange for rewards.

While, at the same time, the NATO leadership, cringing at the thought of losing a launchpad in the region, continues to succumb to every Turkish demand, even forcing the military alliance into silence over Ankara’s purchase of Russian-made weapons systems.

What changed in the past three months and caught Cyprus watching as an observer, instead of an actor, is Joe Biden’s strategy to reinstate the US as the dominant global force, not only in military issues and conflicts but also in energy security, technology hegemony and financial leadership.

Declaring that President Biden is a ‘warm friend’ of Cyprus means nothing if Nicosia is not prepared to reciprocate.

Preferring US energy giants to explore natural gas in our offshore zones also means nothing if those resources cannot be utilised.

Some say the transition from the Trump show to the Biden administration is like watching a galloping dinosaur slamming on the brakes.

In fact, the new US administration has been calculating its geopolitical odds, seeking strategic moves to regain its influence of power in Europe, Asia and elsewhere.

A blaring example has been Joe Biden’s declaration, as US President, to recognise the Armenian Genocide during the Ottoman era, initially infuriating the Turkish government.

He calculated, apart from his obligation and promise to do so; he would get this out of the way at a time US-Turkey relations are already at their lowest ebb. It could not get any worse.

This also says a lot about the new Washington-led intentions to stabilise flaring regions, regardless of American troops on the ground.

With Israel embarking on its ‘Abraham Project’ seeking reconciliation with Arab neighbours, the next few months will also determine where Washington stands on the Palestinians, Syria, and Iran.

With no single voice of solidarity in Brussels or the EU 27, Russia and China pushing their agendas, Cyprus is best to seek new and powerful alliances with ‘victims’ of Turkish aggression while also warming closer to Washington.

At least Joe Biden will lend an ear.