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South’s reaction to Ban’s statement unjustified: Ertug

5 November 2013

Osman Ertug, President Eroglu’s special representative has described President Anastasiades outburst against a statement issued by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as “unjustifiable and unnecessary”. The Greek Cypriot president also fired a rocket at Alexander Downer, saying that the South would not be “blackmailed” into starting negotiations just for the sake of talking.

The statement expressed the Secretary-General’s wish that a date for a meeting between the two Cypriot leaders be arranged during the visit to the island by his special representative on Cyprus, Alexander Downer between 4th and 8th November.

Ertug said that he could not understand why the statement created such a reaction. He pointed out that Ban Ki-moon and Downer are merely trying to fulfil their duties as required by the good offices mission in Cyprus. He added that within this framework, they were referring to the need to restart the negotiations from where they left off.

Ertug asserted that these “unjustifiable and excessive” reactions were delaying tactics in order to prolong the process and to avoid having a time limit set on the talks. He also said that attacking the UN Secretary-General was unhelpful.

Prior to these making these comments, speaking on Bayrak television broadcast on Saturday, Ertug commented on statements made by Andreas Mavroyannis, the Greek Cypriot negotiator on the Cyprus problem (pictured right).Cyprus News - Andreas Mavroyiannis

Mavroyannis had said the Greek Cypriot side would approve the opening of 8 chapters in Turkey’s EU accession talks in return for the implementation of the additional protocol (opening its national airspace, airports and seaports to Greek Cypriot traffic) and will approve the opening of Famagusta port for direct trade with the EU, if Turkey hands over the closed city of Maras to the United Nations.

Ertug responded by saying it was “the wrong subject – the wrong person”; that Mavroyannis’ words were “inexplicable” and added that a date for Mavroyannis’ visit to Ankara had not even been set. A firm date for Ertug’s reciprocal visit to Athens has also not yet been arranged.

The respective meetings of these two negotiators is expected to play an important part in negotiations on resolving the Cyprus problem.

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