An open-ended sum­mit?

Spec­u­la­tion mounts that Geneva meet­ing on Cyprus could be pre­cur­sor to an­other

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

As the Greek gov­ern­ment em­barks on a cam­paign to brief in­ter­na­tional play­ers, in­clud­ing Bri­tish Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May, on Greece’s po­si­tions ahead of the mul­ti­lat­eral sum­mit in Geneva on Cyprus, a se­nior rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Turk­ishCypriot break­away state in the is­land’s north hinted yes­ter­day that it could be held with­out all of the lead­ers of the par­tic­i­pant coun­tries.

“I have yet to see a clear state­ment, but I think Greece will be rep­re­sented at a prime min­is­te­rial level. Bri­tain will, per­haps, par­tic­i­pate at the for­eign min­is­ter level,” Huseyin Ozgur­gun told Turk­ish news agency Anadolu, adding that Ankara will wait to see the level of par­tic­i­pa­tion be­fore it makes any per­ti­nent an­nounce­ment.

“If it is needed, the for­eign min­is­ter [will at­tend], if needed, the prime min­is­ter, and of course the pres­i­dent [Re­cep Tayyip Er­do­gan] if it’s re­quired. But I don’t know this. The Turk­ish gov­ern­ment and the pres­i­dent will make the as­sess­ment,” he added.

There was no re­ac­tion to Ozgur­gun’s com­ments by the Greek gov­ern­ment, but sources said it is work­ing hard to en­sure the par­tic­i­pa­tion of Prime Min­is­ter Alexis Tsipras.

The Turk­ish-Cypriot of­fi­cial’s re­marks brought to the fore a sce­nario that has been floated re­cently whereby the Geneva Sum­mit will be an ope­nended pro­ce­dure in­volv­ing con­tacts at a for­eign min­is­ter level, and if progress is made, this could be fol­lowed by an­other sum­mit of lead­ers to rub­ber-stamp the re­sults achieved. Ac­cord­ing to gov­ern­ment sources, such a pro­ce­dure could stand to ben­e­fit from the en­gage­ment of the five per- ma­nent mem­bers of the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil who have not been slated a pri­ori to at­tend next week’s ini­tial sum­mit. The fact that nei­ther Athens or Ankara have of­fi­cially an­nounced their level of rep­re­sen­ta­tion at the Geneva Sum­mit – apart from Er­do­gan pub­licly stat­ing his in­ten­tion to at­tend – high­lights the dif­fi­cul­ties en­coun­tered in the re­cent diplo­matic con­tacts be­tween both cap­i­tals. As part of the ef­fort to make con­tact with Euro­pean Union lead­ers and mem­bers of the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil, Tsipras spoke yes­ter­day on the phone with his Bri­tish coun­ter­part, whose coun­try is one of Cyprus’s three guar­an­tor pow­ers, along with Greece and Turkey. Bri­tain has said it would make com­pro­mises on its sov­er­eign ter­ri­tory in Cyprus to fa­cil­i­tate the ter­ri­to­rial ad­just­ments that would come with a set­tle­ment.

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