Though both President Nicos Anastasiades and Government Spokesman Nicos Christodoulides have ruled out a multilateral meeting between the two sides and the three guarantor powers, the rumoured setting up of an unofficial summit was enough to spark protest by opposition parties on Monday.
Reports on Sunday suggested that UN special envoy Espen Barth Eide planned to informally bring together the leaders of the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities with guarantor powers Turkey, Greece, and Great Britain, during next month’s World Economic Forum in Switzerland.
Speaking on Politis radio on Monday, Christodoulides said Anastasiades had not been informed of such a plan. A multipartite summit, he added, will be required when a solution to the Cyprus problem is within reach.
Despite the high-level denials, socialist EDEK said on Monday: “We must express our strong opposition, given that international summits are attended only by recognised states. Any participation, direct or indirect, of the pseudo-state to a multi-party conference, will effectively equal its recognition and elevation to state status.”
The only plausible form an international summit on the Cyprus problem could have, EDEK argued, would require the participation of the permanent members of the Security Council, the European Union, Turkey, Greece, and the Republic of Cyprus, and the agenda should feature the withdrawal of occupying forces and settlers, and the abolition of guarantees and intervention rights.
The Greens, also hardliners, called on Anastasiades to “rein in Mr Eide and his environment”.
“When it is leaked that Eide invited President Anastasiades and [Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa] Akinci in Davos, along with the leaders of the three guarantor powers, unpleasant situations are created for the President himself,” the party argued.
“He is fully aware that participation in a multipartite summit – even an unofficial one – would be a grave historical mistake that Cyprus will pay for dearly.”
Anastasiades was right to clarify that he was invited to the forum – and not a Cyprus-problem summit – by the organisers and not Eide, the Greens said, but the party could not help but comment on the fact that the leak “managed to paint the victim, i.e. the Republic of Cyprus, as the intransigent side, instead of the occupying Turkey”.