While ruling Disy accepted the government’s positive spin on the UN secretary-general’s report, and the rejectionist parties trotted out their standard negative rhetoric, main opposition Akel, which has been piling relentless pressure on President Nicos Anastasiades, said it would be wise to read between the lines.
According to CNA, citing government sources, Nicosia was “in general satisfied” and thought the report was more positive than the previous one last October. What was most important, it said, was that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had not pulled the plug on the mission of his envoy Jane Holl Lute to help the leaders come up with terms of reference for the resumption of talks.
This was the line taken by Disy leader Averof Neophytou who said Guterres, with the reference to his six-point framework for the continuation of negotiations, was indicating the way forward and had “opened a new window of hope”.
“We see that the Good Offices of the secretary-general is still granted [to us] although he records that there was no progress that would allow an agreement on the terms of reference,” said Neophytou.
Referring to the Guterres framework, he added: “This is the path and the road is shown by the secretary-general. It is up to the two communities, the three guarantor powers and the European Union whether or not it will lead to a new Crans-Montana that will be well prepared, as mentioned, but not open-ended.”
Akel’s parliamentary spokesman Giorgos Loucaides, welcomed the fact that Guterres had expressed his intention to continue the efforts to resume negotiations.
“The secretary-general’s report is cautious but at the same time it sends warning signals to all sides,” he said. “Despite the fact that Mr Guterres has low expectations of reaching an agreement [on the terms of reference], he suggests there is still hope provided that the parties involved in the process are looking to a specific goal and have the determination to see it through to a successful conclusion with a visible horizon.”
Loucaides said Akel expected from all sides to utilise the limited time “without delay” to reach the terms of reference and resumption of talks based on the Guterres framework.
Three of the other parties, Edek, Citizens Alliance and Solidarity, all issued statements criticising the report for various reasons such as not mentioning Turkey or the occupation.
Solidarity’s Eleni Theocharous slammed the government, which she said was always expressing optimism “even for the tiniest traces or nuggets that could be considered to favour our side”.
“In fact, Guterres’ neutral stance continues. He does not say anything about either the withdrawal of the Turkish army or the end of the occupation or the resolution of the Cyprus problem in a way that protects the human and political rights of our people.”