South Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades has slammed the common document prepared by UN Special Envoy to Cyprus Espen Barth Eide. He claimed that the contents are not in alignment with what was agreed with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in New York on June 4.
He said that he would not accept documents that are not based on the agreements made between himself, Guterres and President Mustafa Akinci.
The point of the document was to provide an introduction to the talks on security and guarantees at the Cyprus Conference in Crans-Montana, Switzerland, on Wednesday.
“According to the relevant consultation with the UN Secretary-General, the draft document presented should have reflected the positions of all the parties and not disregard issues of substantial significance to the Greek Cypriot community,” the President said in a written statement.
“For this reason, because of the fact that the draft document prepared by Espen Barth Eide does not correspond to what was agreed on the 4th June in New York, I do not consider it binding and any reference to this document is therefore unacceptable.”
Shortly before Anastasiades’ reaction, a short statement issued by the UN spokesman in Nicosia Aleem Siddique to the Cyprus News Agency said that the Eide document would be ready in time for the start of the conference. It was retracted shortly afterwards.
In parallel, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Tugrul Turkes responsible for Cyprus Affairs said the UN had forced the holding of the Cyprus conference at Crans-Montana.
“A meeting is again held at Crans-Montana – forcibly. I have to use this expression ‘forcibly’, by the UN,” he told Turkish Cypriots in London over the weekend.
He then argued that the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots in the North Cyprus where Turkey still maintains thousands of troops since its peacekeeping mission in 1974, should be lifted.
And he pointed out that Turkey does its best to contribute towards the divided island’s reunification.
“…We, as Turkey, are doing whatever we can to contribute to this issue. I know that totally the opposite thing is presented in the international press,” he said.
“However, as someone who enters into the kitchen of this issue, I am saying openly and clearly that both Turkey and the esteemed representatives of Cyprus are in favour of a solution. However, debates exist as to what is the solution,” he added.
Greece, Turkey and the UK are Cyprus’ guarantor powers and their representatives will take part in this week’s UN-brokered international conference in Switzerland, along with that of the European Union as an observer.
Only Turkey insists on maintaining a right of intervention in a reunited EU-member Cyprus – something unacceptable to the Greek Cypriots.
The first conference on Cyprus took place in Geneva in January with no tangible results.