Nicosia.- (CNA, ANA-MPA)
The reason which did not lead to a positive outcome at the recent Conference on Cyprus cannot be questioned by anybody, Government Spokesman Nikos Christodoulides has told the Cyprus News Agency (CNA), invited to comment on an interview on the July talks UN Secretary General’s Special Advisor on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide has given to the Agency.
“The reason the Conference failed is Turkey’s insistence on the continuation of the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee, on maintaining the right of intervention in Cyprus and on Ankara’s position for a permanent Turkish military presence on the island. These led the discussions in Crans Montana to a deadlock,” he stressed.
Invited to comment on some of Eide’s positions, as these were expressed in the interview to CNA, the Spokesman noted that Eide has adopted the position expressed by Nicosia and Athens that there cannot be a solution in Cyprus which provides for guarantee and intervention rights to any other third country.
At the same time, he said, some of Eide’s remarks, in particular those referring to what happened at the dinner on July 6 and Turkey’s real intentions, confirm what the President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades has also pointed out in public statements.
“And this is that unfortunately Mr Eide, on many occasions, believed that things happen which he wanted to happen and in this framework he downgraded substantive disagreements which emerged at the negotiating table,” the Spokesman said.
Concluding his comments on Eide’s interview, Christodoulides said “Just as for us this is a time for recollection, evaluation and time to think again, it would be right and reasonable for this time to be the time for self-criticism for Mr Eide too, who has played a role, has contributed to creating expectations and concurred to the preparation or the lack of sufficient preparation of the negotiations for the solution of the Cyprus problem.”
Government Spokesman Nikos Christodoulides, in a written statement, underlined the common positions of Nicosia and Athens on the issue of Security and Guarantees.
The Spokesman made the statement in response to remarks by political parties, noting “once more, we underline that the common position of Nicosia and Athens on the issue of Security and Guarantees is summed up as followed:
“Abolition of the Treaties of Guarantees and Alliance from day one of a solution, no intervention rights in Cyprus by a third country from day one of a solution and a deadline for the complete withdrawal of Turkish troops”.
Noting that he acknowledges that “while we perceive the pre-election convenience of making the remarks and actions of some, it is nevertheless necessary for everyone to be serious and the need for everyone to rise to the circumstances.”
Kotzias attacks UN
envoy for Cyprus
Greece’s Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias on Saturday launched an all-out attack on United Nations Special Adviser for Cyprus Espen Barth Eide, directly accusing him of attempting to undermine the talks on the Cyprus problem.
Pulling no punches in his first interview since the negotiations in Crans Montana – given jointly to the newspaper “Nea Selida” and the Cyprus newspaper “Phileleftheros” – Kotzias revealed that Eide had “secret meetings” that aimed to create a rift in the common strategy adopted by Athens and Nicosia.
“In his visits to Greece, Mr. Eide met secretly with business people – why, one wonders? – who, as it turned out, were linked to specific international actors and choices for Cyprus. Present at these meetings were also some of the journalists that like to insult me personally and try to disparage the common effort of the Greek and Cyprus governments. Secondly, there is that Mr. Eide brought us to this phase in the negotiations without having adequately prepared himself. Thirdly, we allowed him to tell a lot of lies for a long time. I pointed them out one by one during the conference. He knew he was lying but he did not care that he was caught in the act,” Kotzias said.
Fortunately, the foreign minister added, Eide was “forced to backtrack when he attempted to present a document with his own positions as our positions.”
“I am afraid that he is continuing this tactic of his, even after Switzerland,” Kotzias added.
Regarding the escalation of tensions in Cyprus’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) due to Ankara, the foreign minister urged calm and self-restraint but did not hide his concern “that Turkey’s provocations could easily lead to mistakes and accidents.”