Nicosia.- The divide between government and opposition over the outcome of the New York talks widened after the conclusion of the Greentree talks, amid calls on Christofias to step down as the Greek Cypriot negotiator.
Prodromos Prodromou, a member of DISY’s Executive Bureau, released a statement last night urging Christofias to step down as Greek Cypriot negotiator. Prodromou said he was elaborating on an idea floated earlier this week by his party boss, Nicos Anastassiades. In his statement, Prodromou said Parliament should ask Christofias to “abstain” from Cyprus negotiations, following the “debacle” at Greentree.
The legislature could select another person “of broad acceptance” to take over. This person would be given a mandate by the National Council.
In general opposition parties’ reactions to Christofias’ handling of the Greentree talks ranged from “resounding failure” to “fatal for Cyprus’ Hellenism”, according DIKO leader Marios Garoyian and EDEK chief Yiannakis Omirou.
DISY MEP Eleni Theocharous also said the talks were “marked by resounding failure”, creating “dangers for the Cyprus Republic and its people”.
She was also concerned that the notion of a multilateral conference would depend on a report by “the unacceptably biased in favour of the Turkish Cypriots, Alexander Downer, who is evolving into a master of the game”.
By contrast ruling party AKEL hailed the President for ensuring no timeframes were imposed for a solution and averting an multilateral conference unless progress has been made on vital aspects.
Government Spokesman Stefanos Stefanou repeated Christofias’ lack of enthusiasm with the meeting at Greentree.
“He would be satisfied if there were progress in the talks,” said Stefanou. “It was of course known that we did not go to the Greentree meeting under favourable omens given the stance of the Turkish Cypriot side. When what’s wanted is progress in the Cyprus problem and that does not happen then no-one can be happy.”
Stefanou said Christofias was pleased with the UN for not pushing for a multilateral conference without agreement on the basic aspects first – such as territory and Turkish settlers – and respecting his position that a solution to the Cyprus problem should be Cypriot driven and not imposed.
Now negotiations between Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu will continue with the exchange of data on property, Stefanou added.