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End-game pains

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19.05.2017
Recent news reports indicate that Greek Foreign Minister Nicos Kotzias sent a letter on April 7 to U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres in which he sharply criticized Espen Barth Eide, the U.N. chief’s special adviser on Cyprus, accusing him, inter alia, of acting to promote the interests of the Turkish side. This is not the first time that Eide or his predecessors has faced such criticism.

Naturally, anyone who learns a bit about the history of the Cyprus conflict and experiences first-hand the spoiled child-like behavior of the Greek Cypriots, undertakes some effort to facilitate a settlement on the island on the basis of the “political equality” of the “two equal co-owners” of the eastern Mediterranean island. At that point, irrespective of whether the special envoy is a Norwegian, an Australian or an Argentinian, he becomes the target of not only Kotzias and his sort of people suffering from an acute Turkish animosity syndrome, but even by some center-left or center-right politicians who might have very reasonable attitudes vis-à-vis many challenging subjects. Perhaps two cases and one confession might provide sufficient illustration of this serious condition:

In 2008, Alexander Downer, an Australian who served as the secretary-general’s special adviser on Cyprus between 2008 and 2014, was often accused of siding with the Turkish Cypriots. The Greek Cypriot parties DIKO, EDEK, the Greens and EVROKO tried to pass amendments criticizing him. He was accused in the Greek Cypriot parliament of “undermining the Republic of Cyprus” and making “lopsided and damaging statements.” Greek Cypriot parliamentarians called on the secretary-general to “restore Downer’s objectivity and trustworthiness;” one deputy accused him of “working as an ambassador for the Turks,” while another said he never should have been appointed in the first place. In 2009, Downer’s assistant’s email password was obtained by Greek Cypriot intelligence, and over 8,000 pages of documents were stolen and later incrementally leaked to the Greek Cypriot media. In 2012, the Greek Cypriot parliament took a decision, tabled by DIKO, to convey to the secretary-general that Downer had lost his credibility and requested his discharge.

In 2010, when rumors surfaced that Alvaro de Soto, a Peruvian diplomat who served as the special envoy between 1999 and 2004, might be re-appointed, Greek Cypriot political parties adamantly rejected the reinstatement of the envoy. Why? He was held responsible for........

© Hürriyet Daily News