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29 Oct 2008

Building Confidence in Peace

Erol Kaymak / Alexandros Lordos / Natalie Tocci

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Building Confidence in Peace reports and analyses the results of the first public opinion survey in Cyprus carried out by the Centre for European Policy Studies in collaboration with Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot partners. In the new atmosphere of relaunched negotiations in 2008, this book investigates what Cypriots think of each other, of the peace process and of possible solutions to the conflict. On the basis of our findings, a double need starkly emerges. First, it is essential to act, in parallel with the negotiating process, to raise public confidence in the peace process, in order to ensure that as and when an agreement is reached, the people will go along with it and make its ratification and implementation a success. Second, precisely because of persistent areas of divergence, a set of confidence-building measures (CBMs) should be envisaged to help narrow the gaps separating the two communities. This does not entail shifting attention from negotiations to CBMs. On the contrary, unilateral CBMs or non-controversial measures oriented towards inter-societal reconciliation may have a very positive impact and add momentum to the peace process within a strategic context of renewed negotiations. It is precisely in this spirit that we note the ongoing efforts to build confidence in parallel with the negotiations, first and foremost with the opening of the Ledra Street/Lokmac? gate crossing on 3 April 2008.

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