Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci is distorting the facts about what happened in Crans-Montana, Government Spokesman Nicos Christodoulides said on Thursday.
In a written statement in response to comments by Akinci earlier in the day, Christodoulides said the Turkish Cypriot leader made “distorted and untrue references” in an attempt to blame President Nicos Anastasiades for the failure of the Swiss talks on July 7 by suggesting the latter was not ready for a solution.
“It is obvious that the Turkish Cypriot leader attempts to justify the Turkish side’s intransigent positions – including his own demands – for the continuation of the Treaty of Guarantees, the intervention rights and the permanent presence of Turkish troops in Cyprus,” the spokesman said.
He said the Turkish side had been unclear in its positions on territorial adjustments with the return of only part of Morphou and without the return of the Maronite villages.
“We do not wish to comment on the role or the non-existence of a role of Mr Akinci in what happened during the crucial negotiations in Crans Montana. It would be preferable if Mr Akinci, rather than making such unsubstantiated references, to reflect on whether his stance helps the Turkish Cypriot community, and on how he really safeguards the future of the Turkish Cypriots with approaches that are fully in line with those of Turkey,” the spokesman added.
Everyone is judged at the negotiating table by their proposals and their overall approach to the solution of the Cyprus problem, he said. “In Crans Montana, the Greek Cypriot side was the only one to submit concrete proposals within the framework of the UN Secretary-General which, unfortunately, received no response from the Turkish side, neither in writing nor orally”.
Akinci was quoted as saying on Thursday that the Greek Cypriot side was reluctant in all three rounds of negotiations, in Mont Pelerin, Geneva and Crans Montana and said this was obvious to the UN, the EU and to third parties.
“The Greek Cypriot side was not ready for this. That is why there is a lot of fights about Eide’s rhetoric. They [Greek Cypriots] are very uncomfortable that one of the UN is saying this,” Akinci claimed.
He said he did not want to get in the middle of Anastasiades and UN envoy Espen Barth Eide “flying at one another’s throat”.
However, he said that Anastasiades thought at Mont Pelerin last December that the Turkish Cypriot side would not have taken the initiative and “the other side panicked” when the Turkish side accepted 29.2 per cent when maps were exchanged.
Akinci also said that Anastasiades asked everyone to leave the room and when they were alone, he told him: “I beg your pardon; I am not ready for this”.
“We were on scheduled flights, they went with their team with a private plane. He wanted to talk with Athens. Go talk and come back, we told him. They asked for a period of ten days. He even used the name of the leader of Akel [as an excuse] and that they had internal political quarrels, but the whole issue was that they did not want to take the step,” said Akinci. Later in Geneva in January, the step back was taken by Greece.
“Greece, and the Greek Cypriot side then went to Crans-Montana with the belief that Turkey would not make an opening,” Akinci said.
“We showed flexibility… The UN, the EU and the third parties also saw this. The Greek side was not ready for that either. That’s why there are a lot of fights about Eide’s rhetoric. They are very uncomfortable that one of the UN is saying this,” he added.