Cyprus Mail
Opinion

The agenda behind Neophytou’s remarks on Morphou

Disy leader Averof Neophytou is facing opposition from within the party

LAST WEEK I wrote about the political hypocrisy and stupidity that dominate the behaviour of our inadequate politicians. I will continue with this theme today as in the past week there has been another explosion of the two.

The merry dance was led by DISY chief Averof Neophytou who declared: “Without the return of Morphou and with Turkish guarantees, I do not consider the President of the Republic would agree to such a deal. But I have to state clearly that neither DISY nor I personally could conceivably support such an agreement.”

The best way to wreck a negotiating procedure is through public statements. President Anastasiades and Neophytou have declared countless times there should be no public statements about what was being discussed in the negotiations. This was also a commitment undertaken by the leaders of the two communities at the negotiating table.

The Turkish Cypriot side has never been the first to violate this commitment. Its statements invariably come as responses to the statements of our side. This is what happened in the latest instance. The announcements by the Turkish and the Turkish Cypriot side, ruling out the abolition of guarantees and return of Morphou, came as a response to the comment made by Neophytou last Sunday.

Why did Neophytou utter these remarks especially now, a few days before the start of the round of seven meetings – described as ‘critical’ – between Anastasiades and Akinci? What purpose did they serve? Was he in collusion with the president, who, it should be noted, had made a similar statement recently? As it is very difficult to accept that the DISY leader is such a big fool he did not realise what he was doing, we can deduce that his remarks were calculated to provoke a reaction from the other side.

Akinci had recently explained why such statements were to be avoided, pointing out that when public references were made to possible territorial arrangements it was inevitable these would spark reactions from the residents.

One logical conclusion was that Neophytou’s comments were made as part of the attempt to kill the negotiating procedure at this stage so that Anastasiades would be left free to focus on the only matter that interests him – the 2018 presidential elections.

Apart from Neophytou’s suspicious comments, last week we also had the hypocritical statements of the parties and the traditional tour of the embassies of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council by Morphites, led by their mayor, to deliver a resolution demanding the return of Morphou. Peculiarly, the newly declared Morphite, Greece’s President Prokopis Pavlopoulos did not join them. He did not keep the promise he gave on July 11, when Morphou mayor Charalambos Pittas declared him an honorary citizen of the town, that “as a Morphou citizen I am from now obliged to defend the freedom of Cyprus and Morphou.”

I cannot ignore the DIKO declarations which said: “The forty thousand plus Turkish occupation troops and the continuing occupation prove who is causing insecurity in Cyprus.” Political hypocrisy inevitably meets its most authentic exponent in the party of the ethnarch of ‘no’. If DIKO and the other rejectionist parties had voted ‘yes’ in the 2004 referendum, there would not be 40,000 Turkish troops in Cyprus today. And Morphou would have been returned nine years ago, from October 24, 2007.

Instead of having the nerve to complain the Turkish army is “causing insecurity”, DIKO should be ashamed of their 2004 vote in favour of the Turkish army remaining in Cyprus. Rather than provoking in this way, they should consider the heavy responsibilities they bear for the loss of Morphou and Famagusta, for the continuing presence of the Turkish army here, for the big growth in the number of settlers and for the continuing sale of properties in the north, all of which were the result of their heroic ‘no’.

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Source: Cyprus News Agency

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