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The security dimensions of a Cyprus solution

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As a new round of talks to reunify Cyprus continues, there is a real sense that a solution might at long last be possible. Significantly, there also seems to be a desire by the two sides to reach their own settlement with minimal external input. However, while most issues can be dealt with at a bilateral level, security is one specific area that necessarily requires outside involvement, whether in terms of input from Greece, Turkey and the United Kingdom – the three Guarantor Powers – of from the wider international community. This paper explores the various dimensions of the security debate, examining the implications of a continued Greek and Turkish military presence on the island and the proposals for demilitarisation, which will require a rather more comprehensive approach to security than has hitherto been the case. In ensuring the island’s domestic stability, as well as securing its external defences, inventive thinking will be needed to reach some form of acceptable mechanism to ensure the island’s post-solution independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

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