By Savvas Iacovides*

The power of the weak is to be served with trustworthiness and to serve likewise. To enter into friendship and align with the powerful, so that in the hour of need to be protected and the day after his victory to be next to him round the table. There can be no sentiments in politics and no room for justice,  the same way this is expressed in public conscience. Let us talk realistically: The objective of a trustworthy policy is the defence of the interests of the state, the safeguard of its survival and the security of its citizens.

Therefore, the utmost duty of a responsible and elected leadership is to defend with every means possible the aforementioned. The Republic of  Cyprus  is powerless. It does not have the luxury to choose friends and enemies. The enemies, they impose on you. The friends, are chosen, based on mutual interests, how near each one’s objectives are to the other’s, and mutual aims. Let us talk straight and cunically: Our enemy’s enemies, those of the Turkish invaders of Cyprus, are or can be our friends and allies.

At this moment in time there is a very serious and deep crisis between the relations of Turkey and Israel. This crisis was fuelled methodically by Turkey initially starting some 8 years ago, reaching its climax with the tragic Gaza events and the death of activists. For years,  Cyprus  retains friendly relations with the Arab world and always supports the Palestinian cause, without getting anything in return. Without damaging these relations, which are not reciprocated from the part of the Arab countries as one would expect in a framework of mutuality, Nicosia must develop and reinforce, in all aspects and without exceptions, its relations with Israel. And let us not have again all those sentimental explosions, which do not serve a bit our state interests. Israel is a great regional power, with strong ties with the United States of America and other powers. The Jewish Lobby is incredibly strong.

In the face of an ocean of Arabs and Muslims, most of whom seek consciously its destruction, Israel regards Greece and Cyprus as its natural and nearest allies.  Before the Imia crisis (in 1996), Israel proposed to Greece a Defence Co-operation Agreement, which would have facilitated the Israeli Air Force and widened the cooperation in all aspects of defence and security. Because of Greece’s relations with the Arabs, Athens did not respond to Israel’s proposal. And naturally, Israel turned to Turkey. The Imia crisis, the turning of the Aegean into grey zones, the failure to come into an agreement with Israel, the earthquake diplomacy and the since then gradual undermining and neutralising of the Dogma of Mutual Defence between Greece and Cyprus all these together,  helped Turkey to kick Greece out of the Eastern Mediterranean, a position Greece held in this area for thousands of years vis-à-vis culture, history and geopolitics.

Turkey, with her methodical activities in the area around the greater Middle East, is aiming at turning the tables over and changing the hold of power. Powerful obstacle against this Turkish aim is Israel and of course, the United States of America, Russia and the European powers. The developments that will develop in the area in the future, dictate that from now, not later, Nicosia should ask Israel, as a first step, for a Co-operation Defence Agreement, as Israel since long ago is seeking for a closer cooperation with Cyprus.  We believe president Christofias has one – and unique- opportunity to strengthen and fortify Cyprus. He must not loose this chance, driven or moved by sentimentalities or ideological dependencies.

*Article by veteran journalist and Leader writer in Greek-Cypriot daily “Simerini” Mr. Savvas Iacovides, Nicosia, 9 July 2010

Translated by Fanoulla Argyrou (London) 10.6.2010