Eide takes all the flak

The minutes of the meetings held in Crans-Montana may have to be made public unless UN Special Adviser on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide changes his his position on the failure of the Cyprus negotiations, South Cyprus government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides has said.

Eide who had a two-hour meeting with President Nicos Anastasiades on Monday, told reporters outside the Presidential Palace that the UN remains committed to supporting efforts to solve the Cyprus Problem.

He mentioned contacts he had had within the UN and in Turkey and Athens after Crans-Montana and said he was now in Cyprus to share some of his own thoughts on the process and hear how they would like to proceed.

He described the current situation as being “complicated” and that that although “a lot was achieved in Crans-Montana, we did not reach final agreement”.

Eide also said Turkey did not accept zero guarantees or troops but added: “We were working towards an outcome on security that – I mean the Secretary-General and myself – that we think could have worked at the end of the day as part of a final package that would then lead to the end of guarantees and intervention rights, but they would have kept some troops, at least for some time. Where we were not ready to agree is the issue of the longevity of the troops.”

Eide said Turkey’s cooperation would have been part of a six-part package progress but UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had decided to end the conference at that point.

He said he would be happy if talks could resume by Autumn but also acknowledged that elections in Norway were coming up but that he had decided to stay on as UN Special Adviser until now because Guterres had asked him to and believed he had something to offer the process.

The question,” Eide went on to say, “is how we proceed now,” adding he would say more after meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci on Monday afternoon.

Eide also repeated his earlier statements, disputed by the Greek Cypriot side, on the reasons behind the collapse of the talks.

He said he was in Cyprus to listen to the leaders of both sides and said it was hoped there could be a reconnection.

Eide, to a large degree repeated what he said in recent interviews.

In his comments outside the Presidential Palace, Government Spokesman Nicos Christodoulides said a close eye would be kept on the developments over the coming days, including but not limited to, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres’ report on the events at Crans-Montana, which will be prepared by Eide.

The reason of the failure of talks Crans-Montana was Turkey’s insistence for the continuation of guarantee rights, the right of intervention and the permanent presence of Turkish troops in Cyprus,” he said, noting this is what the Greek Cypriot side had been saying from the start.

If references that do not correspond to the truth continue, I do not consider to there to be any choice but the making public the minutes of what went on in Crans-Montana,” he continued.

Christodoulides said no Greek Cypriot politician could have achieved an end to guarantees and Turkey’s intervention right: “There is no bigger achievement than achieving this kind of result”.

It is not a threat, Christodoulides said that he was not making a threat but suggesting a way for all the people of Cyprus, Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot, to know the truth about what happened in Crans-Montana.

He said Eide had not made any reference to his next visit to Cyprus and Christodoulides said the only way forward would be if Turkey changed its stance on security and guarantees.

Turkey has to accept Cyprus becoming what the UN SG described as a ‘normal’ state without troops and guarantees,” Christodoulides added, when asked what would be the next step.

Cyprus Weekly

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