THE BIG QUESTION that has not been answered is why is Prez Nik in Crans-Montana? The common document he demanded from the UN in order go to the Conference on Cyprus did not satisfy him as he made very clear.
A few days before Espen Barth Eide presented the document, deputy government spokesman Victoras Papadopoulos did not mince his words when asked what would happen if the document was not ready by June 28, the start date of the conference. “We can’t go to Geneva,” he said.
The Prez may have used his supposed objections to the document prepared by Eide as an excuse for another theatrical tantrum, but never threatened not to attend the conference. The funny thing was that when it was presented to the party leaders, by our rejectionist negotiator Andreas Mavroyiannis, he saw nothing wrong with it.
After it was shown to the leader Nik decided it was unacceptable and had a four-page letter with his objections sent to the UN Secretary-General on Saturday, while on Monday the UN announced the document’s withdrawal. In the meantime, his rejectionist government spokesman Goody-two-shoes Christodoulides leaked its unacceptable provisions to his buddies in the press so they could make a fuss as well.
You wondered why Nik made such a big fuss about a document that, as it turned out, had zero significance. Does he just throw tantrums because they are fun and he is an incurable attention seeker?
THE DOCUMENT saga did not end in Nicosia, but continued in Crans-Montana on the first day of the conference. Eide, unwisely, said during a morning news conference that the common document had not been withdrawn. “It’s just not common,” said the Norwegian and added, “we are just not using it as a common platform.”
This sparked another tantrum from Nik for whom even the uncommon document was unacceptable. He wanted it dead and buried, extinct if possible. There was another UN announcement in response. UN Spokesman Aleem Siddique said “the document will not be tabled at the conference,” but “the ideas that had informed the drafting of the document in consultation with all parties remained available to inform the positions of the sides.”
This is the sheer beauty of the Cyprob talks. The UN did not withdraw the document but would not table it at the conference even though it would be available to inform the position of the sides, as if the sides did not know the positions of the other side. Had they not all read the uncommon document a week earlier, when it was submitted by Eide?
There was no common or uncommon tantrum from Nik after this mockery of an announcement. He did not even bother to ask if the document was a paper or a non-paper.
BY EARLY afternoon he found another reason to be unhappy with the procedure. After the first conference to discuss security and guarantees, he told hacks as he was leaving that the Turkish proposal “doesn’t not satisfy us at all.”
What did he expect? The Turks to make a satisfactory offer on the first day of the conference without any negotiations? Perhaps he just wanted to maintain the negative climate he and his flunkeys had been cultivating before arriving in Switzerland. He had tired of using the UN for this purpose and the intransigent Turks were a much easier target.
Nik lost his swagger and appetite for tantrums after Friday’s meeting with UNSG Antonio Guterres, who obviously knocked heads together and cut through the crap of both sides by dictating the framework within which they would negotiate and how they would go about it. They all dutifully agreed, a rather crestfallen Nik describing the meetings with Guterres as a “creative day” before adding, with a sense of relief, a note of negativity: “But this does not mean we have reached anywhere.”
His former buddy Mustafa, meanwhile, has been very quiet and subdued in public. He avoids talking to waiting hacks after meetings, waving to them instead. Is this because the big boys from Ankara are in town and he is playing second fiddle or is it just because he is less attention-seeking than our man and not as good an actor?
THE ROLE of alpha-males of the conference have been performed by the foreign ministers of Turkey and Greece, Mevlut Cavusoglu and Nicos Kotzias, who have been hogging the limelight with their abrasive comments. I am surprised how our alpha male Nik has taken a back seat after day one.
The two could not look more different – Cavusoglu, looks like a dodgy carpet seller in Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar while Kotzias has the appearance of an innocent, over-protected, over-fed mummy’s boy – but they are both bruisers that seem to relish a political scrap, even though the Turk has a more streetwise face.
The mean Cavusoglu angered the Greek Cypriots by saying they were dreaming if they thought Turkey would agree to no guarantees and no troops, while the self-righteous Kotzias said the Turks were blackmailers who thought might was right.
On Friday Kotzias claimed that Cavusoglu cancelled a meeting with him while the latter accused the former of being lying about the matter. They are the Laurel and Hardy of the conference, who are certain to provide the fun in the week ahead.
SPEAKING of Kotzias, I hear that some high-ranking Akelites had sent word to the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, through their comrades in Syriza, urging him to rein in his unpredictable foreign minister during the Conference on Cyprus. The commies feared that if Kotzias was given too much licence he could wreck the procedure in Switzerland. The response from the prime minister’s office was that Cypriots should rein in their president as he posed a bigger threat to the procedure.
SIR STELIOS Hadjioannou, who has been funding bi-communal projects, got a bit of stick from the bash-patriots on social media after paying for a few of the peaceniks of the Unite Cyprus Now movement to go to Crans-Montana to demonstrate in support of a settlement outside the conference.
One of the employees of the presidential palace Andros Michaelides, a former Spy Kyp henchman that was given a job by Nik as a favour to former Dikhead leader Marios Garoyian, posted a vitriolic attack on Sir Stelios, whom he sarcastically referred to as the “philanthropist patriot”. Under the heading, “I read it and copied it so it would become widely known”, he accused Stelios of trying to open an Easyjet office at Ercan pseudo airport, claimed Easyjet was in partnership with the Turkish budget airline Pegasus and that Easyjet booked holidays in the hotels of the pseudo-state.
He finished his post thus: “Another supposed pure patriot. Everyone for his big interests. Please circulate so people know who is selling them.” A few minutes later, someone responded to Michaelides telling him the information he copied was rubbish as Hadjioannou has had no links with Easyjet for some time now.
The patriotic presidential advisor admitted that he had copied the text without checking it and expressed the hope “it does not reflect reality”. He also apologised, which is not something you expect from patriotic hacks that resort to misinformation and lies in the national interest, but he may have been given a bollocking by the big boss.
SIGMALIVE has stepped up its campaign against the Bi-communal, Bi-zonal Federation (BBF) recently not just relying on the articles of the hard-line fanatics that write for it. Some 10 days ago it carried a report headlined, “119 academics against BBF. Warnings about Geneva.”
The “119 academics, teachers, university staff and personalities on the initiative of the International Hellenic Association” wrote to Guterres, Juncker, Prez Nik, the foreign ministers of Britain, US, China, Russia, France as well as all the member states of the UN and the EU to inform them that “the Cyprus Republic as well as the EU were in mortal danger because of the conference that will take place behind closed doors…”
BBF was the idea of Britain, they said and should be avoided at all costs. A peculiar mix of people signed the letter, including the UK-based conspiracy theorist extraordinaire Fanoulla Argyrou. As Ms Argyrou is not an academic, a teacher or university staff are we to assume she is a personality?
Among the signatories were academics in gastroenterology, biomedical engineering, civil engineering, chemistry, anaesthesiology – not exactly constitutional experts – many of whom live a very safe distance from the Green Line – at least a few thousand miles, based in Australia, US and Canada. You wonder how many of them have even visited Kyproulla, to have such strong views about the settlement.
Perhaps the next step would be for Sigmalive to have an article by the Professor of Gastroenterology that signed the letter explaining the harmful effects of BBF on the digestion system of Greek Cypriots and also send it to the World Health Organisation.
THE LETTER by the academics was nothing compared to an article posted by Sigmalive on Tuesday informing readers “A Nazi behind BBF.” The story was based on a lecture given by assistant professor at Uclan Dr Klearchos Kyriakides, who pointed out that “the former Secretary-General of the UN Dr Kurt Waldheim, who came up with the idea for BBF after the Turkish invasion, had been a member of the secret services of the Hitler’s Wehrmacht.”
In his lecture, Sigmalive reported, Dr Kyriakides “underlined the dark role of UNSG Waldheim from 1972 to 1981.” Waldheim “worked intensively on finding a settlement based on bi-communality, bi-zonality and federation, at a time when he was hiding a freakish part of his own personal history as a member of the Wehrmacht.” Not only was BBF a Nazi idea but I would not be surprised if Hitler did not have something to do with it as well.
If this had been known sooner, many more than 119 academics would have signed the letter against BBF.
THE TRUTH is that the first country to propose BBF as a settlement of the Cyprob was the Soviet Union long before the Nazi Waldheim appeared on the scene. The Soviets came up with the idea in 1964 before there was a Turkish occupation but it was hushed up because they were our friends and had a principled position on the Cyprob. Now Sigmalive can carry a story on “BBF the Stalinist-Nazi idea.”