UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s comments regarding missed opportunities attracted the anger of Greek Cypriot opposition parties and the displeasure of President Anastasiades.
In Ban’s UN report on Cyprus, which was circulated at the UN Council in New York on Friday, he said that Anastasiades’ failure to accept the help offered by President Akinci to put out the fires which raged in the Troodos Mountains several weeks ago was a “missed opportunity”.
Turkey had said that it would send firefighting aircraft but on being told they would have to land in Larnaca for safety reasons, Turkey withdrew its offer.
Despite the fact that the South did not make a public response to the report, Ban was criticised for making “weak” comments, particularly as no mention was made about Turkey’s link to missing persons. President Anastasiades cautioned “those who advise” the UN Secretary-General and provide information on Cyprus.
Responding to journalists’ questions after the issuing of an advanced copy of the UNSG’s report on Cyprus, Anastasiades said every effort made by the Greek Cypriot side to foster a good climate in the negotiations should be listed in the report, “whether relating to unilateral confidence-building measures taken, or even the request to the EU to introduce Turkish as an official language or a number of other actions”.
He added that there should be comprehensive information provided to the UNSG, so that all facts were recorded. Creating the impression of the UNSG’s bias against one or the other community, only “pollutes the climate of the negotiations”, he said.
In his report, Ban also urged the two leaders to speed up the implementation of the CBMs agreed to last May. He pointed out that none of these, such as linking the electricity grids across the island, unifying mobile telephony and opening more border crossings, were in place yet.
Anastasiades said that “Those who inform the Secretary General or those who want to play a role in the settlement of the Cyprus problem should be very careful”. He noted that “Anyone who raises problems is making our task more difficult.”
“Any attempt aiming at undermining the Republic of Cyprus or upgrading the illegal regime, I do not think constitutes a missed opportunity,” Anastasiades said on Sunday on the sidelines of a 1974 memorial event.
When a UNSG report is released, he said, it should reflect the objective facts not just the progress made, but also the difficulties.
“Our effort is to overcome difficulties within a climate of cooperation,” the Greek Cypriot president said, adding that he hoped the in the final report, events would be reflected appropriately. He said he would reserve his judgment on the rest, until he sees the final report.