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Our View: Bad-mouthing UN envoys is seen as a national duty

UN Secretary-General’s Special Adviser Espen Barth Eide

THE ONLY surprising thing about the concerted attack unleashed, in the last few days, by the small parties against the UN Secretary-General’s Special Adviser Espen Barth Eide was that it took so long to happen. Eide has been in his job for more than two years – he was appointed on August 22, 2014 – and only now have the rejectionist parties decided that he was no different from his predecessors all of whom had been branded ‘biased’ and ‘pro-Turkish’ by our ultra-patriotic politicians.

The signal for the charge of the negative brigade was given by Simerini’s Brussels correspondent, who sent a rather banal report claiming that Eide had misinformed the associates of the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker. The Norwegian’s crime, which made him unfit to be in charge of the talks, was that he had told Juncker’s associates that at the meeting of Ban Ki-moon with Anastasiades and Akinci the convening of a five-party meeting would have been decided.

As there was no such decision it was concluded that Eide had misinformed Brussels. But this was not his only sin. According to Simerini’s correspondent, he was also guilty of cultivating an “overly optimistic picture” about the talks. Only negativity is permissible when talking about the talks and anyone expressing optimism must by definition be biased and pro-Turkish, according to the paper and our patriotic parties which deal exclusively in negativity.

Diko chief, Nicholas Papadopoulos maintaining his party’s proud tradition of having dismissed every single envoy of the UNSG as a Turkish agent, told a radio show that “Eide, in essence, has adopted the Turkish positions on the Cyprus issue and behaves not like the representative of the UN Secretary-General but as the representative of Ankara.” Edek also continued its proud party tradition of having demanded the kicking out of every UN representative that ever served here. A party announcement called on President Anastasiades to demand the “immediate withdrawal” of Eide.

Is this another trick for strengthening their claim that any settlement would be bad for the Greek Cypriots or are had they just run out of alarmist negative things to say last Wednesday and grabbed the opportunity provided by the Simerini ‘revelation’? Whatever their reasons it was yet another depressing reminder of their impetuousness, superficiality and simplistic political thought. Is there any chance of the UN Secretary-General recalling his special adviser under whose guidance there has been more progress in the talks than ever before?  None whatsoever, but it seems that for the rejectionists bad-mouthing the special adviser is seen as a national duty, even if it makes them look very foolish indeed.


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