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Of Cyprus Criticism of Ban Ki-moon's Report, UN Says Didn't Want to Inflame

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, January 26 -- Ten days after Inner City Press asked the UN Spokesman to respond to Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades being “angry because UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon failed to take a stance over  violations of Cyprus' exclusive economic zone," it was able to put the same question to envoy Espen Barthe Eide and UN mission chief Lisa Buttenheim.

  It was Buttenheim who answered, saying that the UN does not want to inflame things with language in its report. Then Espen Barth Eide was asked directly, by a Greek journalists, why do you not blame Turkey? He answered that it all depends from how far back you look at a problem.

  He spoke next to what at the UN is called teh Turkish Lounge, an area just outside the Security Council where journalists used to be allowed to work, but no longer. This is the trend at the UN, now opposed by the new Free UN Coalition for Access.

 Back on January 16, Inner City Press asked Ban's spokesman Stephane Dujarric about Anastasiades' critique. Dujarric replied, "In many cases reports of the Secretary General elicit reactions from one side or another, there is no reason for us to comment on the reactions the the Secretary General's report." Video here.

  Back during the September 2014 UN General Debate, Inner City Press asked by Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu if hydrocarbons could help or hurt their negotiations.

  Anastasiades was upbeat about the chances, when he answered Inner City Press. Video here.

  Then on Saturday, September 30 at the General Assembly stakeout while UN official Herve Ladsous created a circus next to the stakeout, Vine here, Inner City Press asked Eroglu the same question about hydrocarbons. He was downbeat, saying that they might make Greek Cypriots more intransigent. Video here.

  Now, a development. While Italy's ENI started drilling, the Greek Cypriot were informed of competing seismic tests in the same area, at least until the end of the year.

  Now the Greek Cypriot side has pulled out of talks that were to take place October 9 between Anastasiades and Eroglu. One question is, whose to blame? Another is, why didn't the UN and its new envoy Epsen Barth Eide see this coming? What will they do now? We'll have more on this.


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