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18 July, 2024
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Anastasiades, Christodoulides accused of derailing talks

Neophytou demands confirmation of 2018 New York meeting



By Larkos Larkou

Time has its own meaning. The former president of DISY, Av. Neophytou, according to a report in "Kathimerini" (24/5), "threw down the gauntlet to Anastasiades and Christodoulides with his comments on the Peninsula Hotel in New York in September 2018" (Neophytou Interview, podcast Legalmatters, 22/5). Av. Neophytou asked the former and current presidents "to confirm the meeting that took place at the hotel in New York." This intervention "brought back to the fore the 'informal' dialogue between Christodoulides and Cavusoglu at the UN headquarters in 2019, when N. Christodoulides, before television crews, said to M. Cavusoglu, 'Let's shake hands on a solution for a bizonal, bicommunal federation. Will you agree to the terms of reference? Why is informal multilateralism needed first?' M. Cavusoglu replied, 'First we need to agree on what we will negotiate.' N. Christodoulides responded, 'We know what we are going to negotiate.' M. Cavusoglu asked again, 'What will be the solution?' claiming that 'last year (2018) President Anastasiades, in a meeting with me, in the presence of Mr Christodoulides, talked about a Confederation'" (source: "Kathimerini", 24/5).

The gradual revelation of events shows that everything converges in the same direction. First, N. Anastasiades spoke to Turkey's foreign minister about "two states" on the eve of the (supposedly) big negotiation under A. Guterres in Crans Montana (7/2017). A new Anastasiades-Cavusoglu meeting followed in the presence of Christodoulides in New York a year later, in September 2018, at the Peninsula Hotel. The following year (2019) saw the theatrical performance of Christodoulides in front of Cavusoglu with open cameras, apparently at the behest of Anastasiades, to show the public that "now it’s not about two states, now we have a return to PFM. You see, I told Cavusoglu too!" On the same subject, M. Cavusoglu claimed that President Anastasiades told him in Crans Montana that the best solution is a two-state solution and that later in New York he told him to proceed with a confederation. He even accused President Anastasiades of saying one thing to him, another to the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, another to the special representative of the UN Jane Holl Lute, and others in Greece (source: "Kathimerini", 22/7/19).

The two (Anastasiades, Christodoulides) assessed that there was no return to the same Guterres framework, as it had already been disorganised by Anastasiades' well-calculated erratic turns (two states, decentralised, new constitutional structure, etc.). Having considered that the Guterres framework aligned with the essential aspects of PFM had been derailed, they made a "turn" towards the generalisation of PFM and set up the meeting at the hotel with Cavusoglu, to avoid or reduce the burden from any future revelations.

Strange things are happening today. Why isn't N. Christodoulides convinced, when there is a Tatar across the street? The international players know, the ambassadors of the member countries of the EU receive information from their headquarters. They know that N. Christodoulides was a "twin" with Anastasiades in every small or big move to derail the talks. Credibility is a significant matter - losing it too. Former Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker spoke on the same subject (source: CNA, 29/5) on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of Cyprus' accession to the EU:

First, he talks about the summit on Cyprus in Crans Montana: "I think the main problem was not Erdogan and it was not Akinci, but the south of the island, because they were not ready to make the leap." He continued, reiterating that he was disappointed as "I invested a lot of my time in this matter, having bilateral contacts." Referring to the leadership of the Greek Cypriot side, he noted that, "although I like and love those in the south, they did not make enough attempts to explain that this was the moment for the leap, and neither did the other parties on the island."

Jean-Claude Juncker was one of the last great European leaders with authority and influence. He saw the big picture, acting as president with strategic thinking. His point of view counts.

Jean-Claude Juncker appointed Pieter Van Nuffel, who participated in the talks at Nicosia airport, to stay on the island for two years (2015-17).

At the Cyprus summit in Geneva (1/17), Juncker announced within the summit financial assistance for the resolution of the €3.2 billion issue - this news was published in CNA. The EU was present at the highest level at all the summits on Cyprus. They were all there, the President of the Commission with Envoy Van Nuffel and a team of technocrats. While they were all there, N. Anastasiades and his associates got up and left both Mont Pelerin and Crans Montana. Seven years later, N. Christodoulides speaks of "emissary!"

Juncker understood the strategy of linking EU-Turkey relations with the solution to the Cyprus problem, a strategy that changed the course of events in 1999 and 2006. He says what needs to be done: "ways to reconnect with Mr Erdogan on the Cyprus problem." This is the same issue that Maria Angela Olgin mentioned publicly: "in terms of incentives, the Christodoulides government has a very clear picture and knows what could unlock the process" (source: "Kathimerini" 13/5).

[This article was translated from its Greek original]

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