On June 9, right here in this column, I was asking the question of what would take place in the coming weeks following a number of statements made on Cyprus.
I posed the question because when Washington says “over the next few weeks and months we would see in Cyprus a little bit more action” and “there will be things happening that we surely won’t advertise,” this is not something you can take without a second thought.
I should point out that these statements were made on June 5 by Yuri Kim, US State Department Director at the Office of Southern European Affairs. I am not sure whether Ms. Kim had knowledge of the previous evening when Nicos Anastasiades and Kudret Ozersay had dinner with their wives at the resident of Yiannakis Mousas, the Maronite representative or even whether the supper was among those “things with a bit more action.”
It is important to note also that nobody from the government administration bothered to answer to our questions, which after all emerged following serious statements - given what had been taking place in the EEZ – as well as an anxiety that was being felt by the public. A responsible government ought to have come out with a statement.
So you cannot hide this little known fact and pretend that people watching the news are nothing but a bunch of idiots who are completely clueless
But it is clear that President Anastasiades, who is serving his second term in office at the age of 73, does whatever he pleases and does not answer to anybody. He even said as much when knowledge over the dinner was made public: “I don’t think I need permission to meet someone for dinner or not, especially when it is clearly a social event.”
Mr. President, nobody said you needed permission to have dinner in Limassol or Paphos whether you sit down with Costas, Mehmet, Harun or Joseph. But you went incognito to have supper with none other than Kudret Ozersay, the so called foreign minister of the occupied areas. Your own foreign minister Nicos Christodoulides said “a potential rise of Kudret Ozersay as Turkish Cypriot leader would be a negative development in regards to the prospects of a Cyprus settlement. And because this is one possibility, it is yet another reason why peace talks should resume immediately upon the termination of the illegal Turkish activities so that we could have a positive outcome.”
So you cannot hide this little known fact and pretend that people watching the news are nothing but a bunch of idiots who are completely unaware that you spoke with Ozersay on the Cyprus problem, issues that touch our lives and the future of our children.
But let’s take a closer look at why are you not telling the truth. First, the dinner took place on your initiative, because if Mousas were to take such an initiative, he would have at least followed protocol given the occupation status and would have invited Anastasiades and Akinci as well as Christodoulides and Ozersay. However, the supper was your own doing because it allowed you to kill two birds with one stone.
You shoved the Turkish Cypriot leader, your interlocutor in the Cyprus peace talks, and undermined him ahead of “presidential elections” in the occupied areas by meeting with his opponent, the “foreign minister” of an illegal regime and federal solution adversary.
Among all your fellow diners that evening, you were the only one who could have ever called all the others to join you at the dinner table. This is well documented through information obtained by the author of this column. In fact, both men were pleased with the exchange that took place, as the assessment that was offered was that there had been discussion “outside the box.”
Mr. Ozersay, who had served as chief negotiator under Dervis Eroglu and would often be the eyes and ears for Ankara during the talks, has been stating publicly since 2015 that a BBF solution had run its course and a velvet divorce was in order, while also calling for Varosha to open under Turkish Cypriot administration. Knowing all this, we conclude that the President of the Republic was well aware going in to the dinner on July 4, for which we broke the news last Sunday right here in this column.
Now, as far as what exactly “outside the box” was said at the dinner table, this is something we may never learn. But something tells me we are about to feel it in the gut.