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26° Nicosia,
15 August, 2018
 
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Greek foreign minister writes book on failed Cyprus talks

Nikos Kotzias slams UN envoy Espen Barth Eide and fires back at critics in tell-all book

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Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias has written a book on the recent Cyprus peace talks, in which he criticises UN envoy Espen Barth Eide and shares details and documents unseen by the public.

Kotzias, a former career chief diplomat, played a pivotal role in the latest round of Cyprus talks that ended up in failure last summer.

His book reportedly focuses on “intervention rights” on Cyprus, a main talking point he used to put pressure on Turkey to give up its guarantor power status.

The main title of the book is “Cyprus 2015-2018: three years that changed the Cyprus Problem” in which Kotzias shares unpublished letters he had written to Espen Barth Eide, the former UN special envoy to Cyprus.

'Eide failed to appreciate the importance and weight of the issue of guarantees and military occupation to the whole solution of the Cyprus problem'

Kotzias accuses Eide of not being well prepared ahead of the Cyprus conference in Switzerland in summer 2017, according to news website 24/7 that published the preface of his book.

“In the Cyprus problem negotiations, particularly during the two international conferences, a unique problem had come up: contrary to the UN Secretary General, his special envoy who managed to keep his post from the previous leadership, had not made a contribution to good preparation, but he also failed to appreciate the importance and weight of the issue of guarantees and military occupation to the whole solution of the Cyprus problem.”

Kotzias also says Eide did unprecedented things during that period, such as “forging connections with journalists in Cyprus and even more so in Greece in order to conduct opposition politics on the two government,” adding that he did not do the same in Turkey.

Kotzias also speaks about his proposal for a Friendship Pact between Greece and Turkey which fell through during the Crans Montana conference on Cyprus last year.

The Greek foreign minister had pushed for the friendship pact to replace the treaty between guarantor powers - Greece, Turkey, and UK – but Turkey reportedly rejected the proposal and a letter he had written to the UN Secretary General was never sent.

Kotzias also writes that he was the target of fierce criticism when he spoke bluntly on the abolition of guarantees but found the backlash peculiar since he believed it was the core of the Cyprus problem.

The book is expected to be published in Greek and English.

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