By George Psylides
PRESIDENT Nicos Anastasiades suggested on Tuesday that the UN special envoy for Cyprus was not objective, as the Turkish Cypriot leader called for a start to reunification talks without a joint declaration.
In an interview with state television CyBC, the president said the role of the people serving the UN, whether it was Alexander Downer or anyone else, was not to alter UN decisions or the decisions made by the leaders of the two communities.
“They should realise that a plan that was rejected by 76 per cent of the Greek Cypriots cannot be brought back in the same form or worse, or with decorative changes,” Anastasiades said.
He was referring to a UN reunification blueprint known as the Annan plan that was rejected by Greek Cypriots and approved by the majority of Turkish Cypriots in separate referenda in 2004.
He added that what was necessary was not a deus ex machina but objectivity from those tasked to serve UN principles.
The two sides have been bogged down over the text of a joint declaration that would pave the way for the start of talks.
On Friday, the Greek Cypriot side said they were informed by the UN that the most recent proposal had been rejected by the Turkish Cypriots, who did not submit a counter proposal.
Turkish Cypriot leader Dervish Eroglu said the two sides must drop the exchange of documents and start talks for an agreement.
According to the Cyprus News Agency, Eroglu said he was prepared to start talks from where they were left off with his predecessor but the “Greek Cypriot leader did not accept this and that was why the joint declaration was put on the agenda.”
Eroglu said the last document tabled by the Turkish Cypriots was viewed positively by the UN Secretary-General, and the countries interested in the issue, but the Greek Cypriot side appeared negative again.
Meanwhile, Cyprus will be on the UN Security Council’s agenda for January, according to Jordan’s Permanent Representative Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein, whose country assumes the presidency this month.
He said a meeting will be held with troop-contributing countries to UNFICYP on January 21, and that on January 22 the Security Council will hold informal consultations on the mission of UNFICYP.
He noted that on January 28 the Security Council is expected to adopt a resolution to renew the mandate of UNFICYP.
On January 22, the members of the Security Council will be briefed by Special Representative Lisa Buttenheim on UNFICYP and by Downer on the good offices mission for Cyprus.
By George Psylides