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Nicosia makes demarches over UNSG statements on Cyprus

03 February, 2014

Cyprus government will be making representations to the UN over statements on the political situation in Cyprus made in Munich on Saturday by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon.

Speaking to the press Sunday, Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides said that Nicosia is taking action over Ban’s statements that "unfortunately, these negotiations [were] suspended because of a change of government in the Greek Cypriot community of Cyprus”.

The Foreign Minister described these remarks as unfounded, pointing out that the talks were suspended in the summer of 2012 by the Turkish Cypriot leader when the Republic of Cyprus assumed the Presidency of the Council of the EU.

Kasoulides went on to say that he has spoken to Cyprus’ Permanent Representative to the UN and he will be filing a protest on the matter.

“It is unfounded for the UNSG to claim that the talks were suspended because of the presidential elections. The talks were halted by Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu eight months before the elections took place, on the pretext that Cyprus assumed the EU Presidency” Kasoulides stressed.

He recalled that the then President of Cyprus Dimitris Christofias had stated publicly that he was willing to continue the negotiations, regardless of the Cyprus EU Presidency.

Furthermore, the FM said that Nicosia will be making demarches over the fact that the UNSG referred to elections “in the Greek Cypriot community”.

“I am wondering how many years a Secretary General needs, at this specific post, to know the UN member states”, he remarked.

Replying to a question, Kasoulides indicated that perhaps such issues are not as clear to the SG as they are to other parties involved in Cyprus, adding that “I would like to believe that these statements were not made deliberately”.

“I would like to believe that these issues are not as clear to the UNSG as they are to those directly involved with Cyprus. We must acknowledge that the SG is engaged in very serious issues at the moment and if he was a bit more cautious and paying more attention, he would have avoided these mistakes. I don`t think these statements were made intentionally” Kasoulides said.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.

The latest round of UN backed talks began in 2008 but was suspended in the summer of 2012 by the Turkish side, when the Republic of Cyprus assumed the six month long presidency of the European Council.

During the past weeks the UN have been meeting with the negotiators of the two communities on the island - Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots - with the aim to reach an agreement on a joint statement that would pave the way for the resumption of the talks.

In February 2013 Cyprus elected a new President, Nicos Anastasiades, who succeeded Dimitris Christofias.