Storm in a wine glass?

President Anastasiades, having initially accepted Alexander Downer’s dinner invitation, wrote a strongly worded letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon last week, demanding that the proposed dinner for May 29th be a strictly social event.

He also demanded that only the Secretary-General rather than his representative, Alexander Downer should respond to his letter. Mr Anastasiades felt that Mr Downer was trying to introduce politics into the dinner and should be censured for that. He also insisted that the date be changed to May 30th.

A few days ago, Mr Anastasiades got his reply through a UN spokeswoman who said that the UN had full confidence in Mr Downer and felt sure that he could arrange an appropriate dinner. However the dinner date was changed to May 30th.

There was relative calm over the weekend but now the storm has whipped up again.

This morning the Greek Cypriot press is up in arms about the fact that there will be 8 people at the dinner; the two presidents with their spouses, Mr Downer and another UN envoy. In addition it has been noted that the US Deputy foreign minister Eric Rubin and the UK Foreign Ministry head of European Affairs, Jill Morris visiting the island will also be present.

The Greek Cypriot press says that this is Downer calling on his Anglo-American buddies to introduce an element of politics into the dinner date. They feel that Mr Downer has had it in for the South during this last phase and there are calls, once again, for him to be replaced.

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