[We are witnessing the international body as it chooses to follow the Turkish narrative on Cyprus, while ignoring the “Greek Cypriot discourses.”
Ban’s rep, Espen Barth Eide, did the usual diplomatic doublespeak, speaking out of both sides of his mouth as he spoke from the left side of his mouth, blaming stalled talks upon Cypriot preoccupation with Turkish NAVTEXs and drilling in Cypriot waters, while simultaneously speaking from the other side of his mouth, crediting the Cypriot hydrocarbon demands as the single motivation bringing Turkey back to the negotiations table.
By coming down behind Turkey, pushing renewed negotiations forward, while doing nothing to end Turkish violations of internationally-recognized Sea Rights. Turkey is gaining through diplomacy the self-proclaimed rights to the resources lying iwithn the Cyprus EEZ, which it could not win in the previous “civil war.” Turkey had no claim to Cyprus then, when it cited the large Turkish population on the island’s north side as grounds for invasion. If the UN lets this Turkish aggression to go unanswered, then it is okaying similar military moves wherever Turkish expats live in large numbers. By extension, then it must also grant Russia the same rights to protect Russians in Ukraine, Moldavia, Lithuania, wherever Obama is currently stirring-up trouble.]
Parties denounce Ban’s bias
Espen Barth Eide’s activity has also been called into question
By George Psyllides
As expected, political parties expressed disapproval for the UNSG’s report.
Ruling DISY said it was especially concerned by the fact that Bank Ki-moon appeared to adopt the Turkish positions regarding the “so-called” Turkish Cypriot isolation.
“Once more we must categorically reject such claims,” DISY said, blaming problems the Turkish Cypriots may experience on the continued Turkish occupation of the island’s north.
The party also said it was Turkey’s arbitrary and illegal activity inside Cyprus’ EEZ that caused a problem.
“Above all, the UN must protect their own Convention on the Law of the Sea, and international legality,” DISY said.
Opposition AKEL said the report was not balanced and rightly prompted feelings of disappointment and concern.
The party said there was no criticism of Turkey’s violations, a stance that did not help diffuse the crisis, but also encouraged Turkey to continue to provoke.
AKEL also noted the appearance, after several years, of phraseology regarding the Turkish Cypriot community.
“Reasonable questions arise by the reference to removal of the isolation and restrictions that impede the Turkish Cypriot community’s economic development,” the party said.
It added that such unfortunate references only served to foment divisive tendencies among Turkish Cypriots.
DIKO chairman Nicolas Papadopoulos said the report “was another blow to President Nicos Anastasiades’ policy of unilateral concessions and the illusion that Turkish behaviour can be appeased.”
Papadopoulos said the policy of “generous offers” has failed.
Instead of recording the realities in Cyprus, which are the continuing Turkish invasion and the Turkish provocations inside the Cypriot EEZ, Ban’s concern was the “so-called Turkish Cypriot isolation,” Papadopoulos said.
EDEK said it was surprised to see the matter of the so-called isolation reappear after seven years, voicing concern about the way UNSG’s special envoy Espen Barth Eide exercised his duties.
Espen Barth Eide, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s special adviser to Cyprus, said that concerns regarding Cyprus have been growing.
Speaking to Daily Sabah in Cyprus over two days, Eidi said that the negotiations on Cyprus started in September by reaching a new phase. “On September 17, we made a good beginning to negotiate the share of territories and authorities,” he said, adding that the main problem is that the negotiations could not progress.
“The hydrocarbon exploration off Cyprus must be kept away from negotiations.
The Hydrocarbon crisis brought the process to that point,” he said.
Eidi remarked on the hydrocarbon exploration that led to the present crisis in the negotiations: “We think the hydrocarbon crisis is a serious issue, since it is a factor constantly blocking the progress of the negotiations and it prevents the continuity of the talks. If a federal resolution is achieved on Cyprus, the matter of how the hydrocarbon income would be shared within the scope of federal state authority is already agreed upon between the parties.
“This situation is changing now. Some thoughts regarding whether Navtex should exist or not, prevails in the works investigating whether a mutual decision mechanism should be established or the Cyprus Republic should continue. The factor preventing our progress in negotiations is those differing opinions. I am sure that if we had been at the table, we would have already solved the hydrocarbon crisis.
“On Cyprus, the parties agree on which parts should go. However, there is a disagreement on where they are. An agreement will be made at negotiations in the future, but there seems to be no agreement for the present situation.”
Eidi also talked on the second Navtex provided by Turkey, which conducts seismic research in the Eastern Mediterranean on behalf of Turkish Cyprus. Eidi underlined that everyone should contribute to peace and stability on Cyprus. “We know from the very beginning that Cypriot Turks want the hydrocarbon issue to be tabled. But their wish could not be realized. However, last week, Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiadis signaled that hydrocarbons can be tabled at the negotiations.”
Eide said: “Turkish Cyprus should answer this message. The second Navtex was provided by Turkey, but the Barbaros Hayrettin Pasha ship has not set sail yet.
–[SEE: Turkey Issues New NAVTEX, Makes Ready To Move Drill-Ship Barbaros (ED. NOTE–position of Turkish Barbaros has remained unchanged)]
Greek Cypriots have proposed some changes regarding certain subjects. They started to change on topics such as meeting without precondition and negotiating on hydrocarbons. Of course the functions and discourses progress step by step in politics.
“I advise the Turkish Cypriots not to focus on policies according to Greek Cypriot discourses.”–Eide
He continued: “The Greek side expressed that they did not have any written or official communication with Turkish Cypriots as part of the drilling agreements declared by Greek Cypriots, but they were ready to discuss the hydrocarbon agreement they made with Turkish Cyprus.
“In sum, the world would be pleased to see the resolution of the Cyprus issue. I would be the most happy if the two leaders agree to commence the negotiations now. Of course I cannot force the leaders, they should be eager themselves to do that. It does not matter when the negotiations would start. What really matters is achieving a final result at negotiations without any interruption. I hope that both parties will not leave the table.”
Eidi also commented on whether hydrocarbons are a curse or a boon for Cyprus. “In another region, I saw a hydrocarbon matter turn into a conflict. Based on the statistics, if hydrocarbons are found in a region, I can say it is a harbinger of bad news since it might lead to various political crises. However, if a convenient atmosphere is enabled, hydrocarbons might bring positive developments in economy and politics.
“The reason behind the hydrocarbon crisis in Cyprus is the lack of political stability and a suitable ground. There has been an ongoing problem for years. And we still try to solve this crisis with all our hopes. If the Cyprus issue is not resolved, we may be facing the evil face of hydrocarbons.”
Eidi also spoke about Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu’s one-day visit to Cyprus. “I don’t know Mr. Çavuşoğlu’s reason for visiting. However, I wish to say he might have come for some motivating initiatives for the restarting of negotiations. Our relation with Ankara is constructive and positive. Ankara’s approach to the resolution of the Cyprus issue is positive. We cannot ignore that. The close and strong relations and cooperation between Turkish Cyprus and Ankara favor us. We are pleased with this picture.”