Political parties will next week submit proposals on how to proceed following the collapse of settlement talks in Switzerland, their leaders said on Monday after a National Council meeting.
President Nicos Anastasiades presided over the meeting to inform political leaders of the outcome of the settlement talks that took place in Crans-Montana from June 28 to July 7.
After the meeting, party leaders said that the president had mainly told them about what happened during the last day of the talks, and that they had not had any discussions with him.
The National Council is to convene again next Monday and Tuesday. On Monday, the party leaders will express their views and on Tuesday they will discuss the situation in the presence of Greek Foreign Minister Nicos Kotzias.
Most of the leaders blamed Turkey for the dead-end reached at the talks, but said they would not elaborate on their positions until next week. Following the meeting, the head of the ruling party Disy, Averof Neophytou, and the Greens’ chairman, Giorgos Perdikis, left without making any comments.
Akel leader Andros Kyprianou said that he is worried that the collapse of the talks means the status quo will go on indefinitely “with very negative effects for our side”.
He also said he disagrees with those “who I see are happy about the outcome in Crans-Montana”.
“We will have to realise that not only has the Cyprus problem not been resolved, but we are no closer to its solution and unfortunately we have distanced ourselves [from a solution],” Kyprianou said.
What’s important, he said, are the next steps following the failure at Crans-Montana. Kyprianou said that Turkey bears the main responsibility for the outcome, and that “it has been behaving in a provocative and unacceptable way” for some time. Some of Turkey’s demands, he said, cannot be accepted.
The Greek Cypriot side, he said, should focus on its actions so far as regards negotiations with Turkey.
Akel cast a shadow on Sunday over Anastasiades’ version of who was to blame for the collapse of the settlement talks in Switzerland. Citing EU and UN sources that put the blame on Anastasiades for the collapse of the talks, the party said that they were weary of the government’s claims that it was Turkey’s insistence on maintaining guarantees, troops and intervention rights that led to the collapse of the talks.
Kyprianou said that Akel has criticised Anastasiades strongly over the past few months.
“We also have views and positions on the handlings made in Switzerland,” he said. He added that he would address this next week at the National Council.
Diko leader Nicolas Papadopoulos called for unity and said that now is not the time to engage in a blame game “for possible mistakes made by our side”.
He added that he too believes that Turkey is to blame for the collapse of the talks and that everyone must work collectively to face Turkish plans.
“Turkey got what it wanted. A deadlock without blame. We have a bad statement from the UN secretary-general, which unfortunately helps Turkish plans,” Papadopoulos said.
He added that the republic’s energy plans must proceed as planned. “Under no circumstances should we let these plans be extorted by Turkey”.
Head of the Solidarity Movement Eleni Theocharous said that it was made clear that the “policy of appeasement” the government has been following so far, failed, as it has left Turkey hungry for more.
Commenting on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s reference on Saturday after the G20 summit in Hamburg to plans B and C for the Cyprus problem, Theocharous said it is clear that plan B refers to the independence of the breakaway regime in the north. “When they talk about a Plan C, they talk about annexation by Turkey,” he added
Chairman of the Citizens’ Alliance, Giorgos Lillikas, said that he has submitted a document containing his proposals on how to proceed and on a change of policy. He too said that it was time for unity and not for a blame game.
He said that Turkey had managed to lead the procedure to a stalemate to allow it “or so it believes, to proceed with the implementation of Plan B or Plan C”.
The deputy chair of Edek, Maria Vasiliadou, said that the president had not used the National Council while in Crans-Montana.
She added that the president withdrew the proposals he had made at the talks last week, but that he is willing to resubmit them, “in the case Turkey agrees to withdrawal of guarantees, intervention rights, and troops”.
Vasiliadou said that the only culprit for the negative outcome was Turkey, which had “managed to remain unscathed through this process”.
The Greek National Council on Foreign Policy was to meet in Athens at 5pm on Monday, under Kotzias, to discuss developments over the Cyprus problem.