Greek Cypriot political parties breathed a collective sigh of relief on Monday when President Nicos Anastasiades left New York without a solution timetable, a roadmap, a five-party conference or arbitration.
Main opposition Diko said it appeared Anastasiades had stuck to the commitments he had given to the National Council that he would not be railroaded during his tripartite meeting with Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary-general, and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci.
The party said it expected a full briefing from Anastasiades on his return to Cyprus that would allow the political parties to contribute to a productive dialogue in the talks going forward.
Solidarity Movement’s Eleni Theocharous was also mainly positive, saying the non-imposition of a timetable would enable the parties to review their positions. Anastasiades had also made it quite clear in New York what was acceptable or not to the Greek Cypriots and had adhered to his commitment. She said her party was not seeking to “wreck the talks” but to see a solution they could support.
“However the statements of Mr Akinci and the Turkish leadership do not allow us to be optimistic that any agreement reached will move towards in this direction,” she said.
She also criticised UN Special Adviser Espen Barth Eide, questioning his motives and his objectivity. Theocharous said Eide had informed EU Commission President Jean Claude Juncker that the tripartite meeting in New York would develop into a five-party conference on the guarantees and a roadmap with timetable for a year-end solution.
“I think that the role of Mr Eide has expired,” she said. “We should ask for him to be recalled, because he is not acting in the best interest of the Cypriot people as a whole.”
Citizens Alliance leader Giorgos Lillikas said there were both positive and negative aspects from the US meeting though negative developments such as timetables and roadmaps had been avoided, he said.
“We know that Turkey made many lobbying efforts and had some support from allies,” he said. Lillikas also said that the reference in Ban’s statement for a solution before the end of 2016, had contributed to maintaining “high and unfounded expectations in the international community”.
The Greens said they had warned Anastasiades of the pressures he would face in New York but he “fortunately withstood the pressures in terms of challenging demands of Turkey”.
“We can assume that external pressures will further increase,” said party leader Giorgos Perdikis.
He also warned that the request for greater UN involvement could lead to arbitration.
Edek leader Marinos Sizopoulos parroted the same points as the other parties and echoed the views of Theocharous that Eide was playing a behind-the-scenes game that was not objective.
Akel spokesman Stefanos Stefanou said the New York meeting had yielded the expected results and was without any surprises, despite the negative forecasts.
Ruling DISY also said the meeting outcome had negated the criticisms of the naysayers.
“It turned out that those who did not trust the president were wrong,” party spokesman Prodromos Prodromou said.