After months of wrangling over the economic woes of the country, the government and opposition yesterday joined forces to reject Turkish reports of a UN proposal to hold a four-party conference on the Cyprus problem. The realignment of stars was brief however as the various factions within the Cypriot political system soon turned on each other to blame their opponents for giving Turkey the chance to push for a four-party conference through their alleged playmaker, UN special adviser on Cyprus Alexander Downer.
According to Turkish press reports, Turkey’s EU Minister Egemen Bagis raised the prospect of a multilateral conference attended by Greece, Turkey, the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leadership after next February’s presidential elections.
Bagis referred specifically to an alleged proposal by Downer to have Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu meet with Greek prime minister Antonis Samaras and the next Cypriot president with Turkish PM Tayyip Erdogan. Bagis described this proposal as “incomplete”, saying the UN should take it a step further and arrange a four-party conference.
Government spokesman Stefanos Stefanou on Wednesday rejected the notion of holding four-party talks, accusing Turkey of attempting to deviate from the current negotiating process based on the relevant UN resolutions.
Regarding a multilateral conference on the Cyprus problem, Stefanou said: “This is a procedure that we reject. It was emphatically rejected by the President of the Republic when Turkey attempted to promote a meeting between Mr (Mehmet Ali) Talat (the former leader of the Turkish Cypriot community) and the Greek Premier, following the president’s desire to meet with the Turkish leadership to explain his vision for a Cyprus solution,” the spokesman said.