Athens hits out at UN mediator
Foreign Ministry suggests Eide favored Turkey in failed Cyprus peace talks
Greece’s Foreign Ministry hit out yesterday at the United Nations special envoy for the Cyprus issue, Espen Barth Eide, after taking umbrage at comments which suggested that Nicosia and Athens had not accepted a proposal by Turkey that would have led to the gradual withdrawal of troops from the island.
“It appears that Mr Eide is making statements as someone who intends to resign from the post of UN mediator in favor of taking up what would apparently be the more satisfactory position of spokesperson for the Turkish government,” the Greek Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
Although Eide insisted in an interview with the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) on Saturday that there had been a “collective failure” in the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana, where the last round of the reunification talks took place, he also suggested there had been a genuine offer from Ankara to discuss a formula for troop withdrawal and an end to guarantees.
Nicosia and Athens indicated that Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu was not willing to commit to this in writing, prompt- ing the talks’ collapse. Eide, though, suggest otherwise.
“Out of the various bilaterals we saw the possibility of arriving that night at the final total package,” he told CNA.
Athens indicated Cavusoglu was not ready to accept an end to the rights of intervention and the Treaty of Guarantees from the first day any deal would be implemented.