Anastasiades won’t release minutes of Cyprus talks

Cyprus president Nicos Anastasiades announced on Wednesday that he had decided to back down on his decision to make public the minutes of the controversial five-hour dinner of July 6 at the Crans-Montana Conference on Cyprus, following a plea from UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

Anastasiades had threatened to publicize the minutes of a meeting in the Swiss resort after being angered by comments made by UN Special Envoy to Cyprus Espen Barth Eide about Turkey’s position during the talks.

Anastasiades had said on Monday that the minutes from the final part of the dinner should be released in order to tell the truth, which he said was distorted by claims by United Nations’ special adviser Espen Barth Eide that Anastasiades may have squandered an opportunity offered unofficially by Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.

In a statement Anastasiades said that at the request of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and out of respect for “diplomatic norms”, he had decided not to release the minutes at the moment.

The minutes were from a dinner attended by several UN officials, Anastasiades, Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias.

Furthermore, Anastasiades goes on to say that even though he will not be making the minutes public, they will be given to the heads of the EU Council, UN Security Council and European Commission.

“Responding to the plea by the UN Secretary General, whose constructive approach to the Cyprus problem I have deeply appreciated, and respecting the diplomatic virtues, I have decided – at this current stage – to not make public the minutes of the dinner of July 6 at Crans-Montana, but to instead make them public to the members of the UN Security Council and to the heads of the European Council and European Commission,” a statement from the Presidential Palace said.

In addition,  Cyprus President insists on the issue of the UN Special Envoy to Cyprus, stressing that “Mr “. Eide’s continued selective public references are in stark contrast to the explanations he gave at our recent meeting on July24.”

It’s worth noting that National Council meeting will take place on August 1 where  Anastasiades will discuss the next moves in the Cyprus Issue with the heads of the political parties.

In his statement Mr. Anastasiades also notes:

  • Everything Eide said at the meeting the two men had on Monday, were in agreement “with what was recorded that evening about the positions of the Turkish side and the responsibility for the final development of the discussion, as well as with the detailed minutes kept by the negotiator of the Greek Cypriot side, Ambassador Andreas Mavroyiannis”.
  • At Monday’s meeting,, Eide not only congratulated the Greek Cypriot side for being the only side to submit specific proposals within the UNSG framework, but also pointed out that the Turkish side did not respond to these proposals either in writing or verbally.
  • He added that he called on Eide to make public corrective statements “to restore the actual facts to end the misinterpretation he allowed to be understood through whispers”.“I pointed out to him that he is the only one who refutes with his statements what Mr Cavusoglu proclaimed, both before July 6, when he stated that ‘Greek Cypriots must wake up from the dream of terminating the guarantees and intervention rights’ and after July 6 when he stated that “the proposal for the termination of the Treaty of Guarantees and intervention rights is a silly proposal that could not be accepted.”
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