Following a vague United Nations report which didn’t say who was to fault for the collapsed Cyprus unity talks, President Nicos Anastasiades found himself backpedaling in the face of criticism from rivals as he girds for next year’s elections.
He said the negotiations with Turkish-Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci fell apart over Turkey’s refusal to fully remove an army from the northern third it occupied in an unlawful 1974 invasion.
But UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who tried to broker a deal at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana but failed – joining a long line of other UN officials, diplomats and envoys on that last – wouldn’t blame either side.
“Even if all the core enablers are in place, as they appeared to be in Crans-Montana in late June, I am convinced that the prospects of finally pushing this process ‘over the finishing line’ will remain elusive without the strongest of political will, courage and determination, mutual trust and a readiness on the part of all parties to take calculated risks in the last and most difficult mile of the negotiations,” his report said in the usual diplomatic language that treaded carefully.
“The contents of the UN Secretary-General’s report are at odds with the fairy tale of President Anastasiades,” said AKEL leader Andros Kyprianou, the Cyprus Mail reported, as he seized on Guterres’ refusal to assign blame to say Anastasiades was selling a fairy tale even though multiple media reports said Turkey wouldn’t remove its army.
Kyprianou hinted that the Turkish side may have been willing to meet the Greek Cypriots halfway in Switzerland or Guterres wouldn’t have given both sides an outline for a solution as the UN chief said he did. because otherwise the UN chief would not have submitted to the sides an informal
The election campaign office of Diko leader Nicolas Papadopoulos called the report “the worst in the history of the Cyprus problem,” and said, “It is the certificate of failure of Anastasiades’ strategy,” a statement read.
Papadopoulos decried the fact the report let Turkey off the hook, and that it “locks in” the “dangerous concessions made over the last years by Anastasiades and Christofias,”referring to a former President who’s a Communist.