In his statement on 1 January 2017, the Leader of the Greek Cypriot Leader Nicos Anastasiades claimed that the five-party meeting that is agreed to take place on 12 January 2017 in Geneva will be ‘‘…more of a four-party conference’’ and said ‘‘…relevant parties will attend the conference, namely the Republic of Cyprus and the three guarantors’’. Anastasiades also said that he will go to Geneva as the President of the so-called ‘‘Republic of Cyprus’’, and asserted that ‘‘there will be no multi-party conference on 12 January unless a map is submitted”. Furthermore, the Greek Cypriot Leader maintained his insistence that the Permanent Members of the UN Security Council should be present at the conference’’.
It appears that the aim of this negative and intentional statement made on the eve of the Geneva meetings is beyond demanding a prerequisite for the process and also aims at preventing an outcome from the meetings. The leaders’ agreement on 1 December 2016 which was also announced by the UN had already determined the parties that will participate in the five-party summit. As known, these parties are the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot side, Turkey, Greece and the United Kingdom, hence the three Guarantors. Anastasiades’ attempt to change the already agreed format in an arbitrary manner and by means of a unilateral statement is neither viable nor acceptable. Besides, this attempt does not comply with the anticipated Bürgenstock format also contradicting the UN Secretary General’s mission of good offices which provides the framework for the negotiations.
The Secretary General’s mission of good offices requires the negotiations to take place without constraints, on an equal footing and without any prerequisites. While this is the case, we would like emphasize that the United Nations should not remain silent on the Greek Cypriot side’s stance or their attempt to undermine the Geneva meetings in defiance of the agreement dated 1 December 2016 and should protect the consensus that has already been reached.
On the other hand, Anastasiades’ insistent attempts to incorporate other actors into the process at this final stage contradicts with his own statement in which he indicated that the conference will be a ‘‘four-party’’ meeting. This effort serves no other purpose than to make the process even more complicated and to obstruct the process. There has been no such participation in the negotiations that has been continuing for decades until today and will not take place from here on.
We hope that the Greek Cypriot side stops introducing such prerequisites and playing tricks immediately but instead participates in the meeting with goodwill and a constructive approach, and engages in negotiations that can produce results.