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On Cyprus ICP Asks Spehar Why Guterres Didn't Mention, Ledra Hotel & Husein Moussa

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon

UNITED NATIONS, January 17 – After the Cyprus talks collapsed at Crans Montana in Switzerland in early July, on August 3 Inner City Press asked the UN when its Special Adviser Espen Barth Eide was quitting. It happened on August 15; he has still not been replaced as of January 17. In fact when UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres gave his speech on 2018 priorities on January 16, among European conflicts he did not even mention Cyprus. Here was the entire section: "Eighth, removing the paralysis that has let European conflicts fester and freeze.  Having started two world wars, and taking into account the resources and capacities available to Europe, it is unjustifiable for conflicts in the region to persist. Resolving these situations requires pushing back the dangerous tide of nationalism, and revitalizing the relevant mediation initiatives – including the Normandy Format and Trilateral Contact Group on Eastern Ukraine, the OSCE Minsk Group on Nagorno-Karabakh, the Geneva International Discussions related to Georgia and the “5+2” process on Transnistria. A concerted effort for solutions leading to long-term stability in the Western Balkans is also urgent. I urge European leaders to show that the continent can live up to its ideals of shared prosperity and peaceful coexistence." Maybe like with the UN's regional groups, Guterres puts Cyprus in the Asian Group. But it is nowhere in his speech, unlike Transnistria. When UNFICYP Special Representative Elizabeth Spehar took questions on January 17, Inner City Press asked her about Guterres' omission, about how much leaving the Ledra Palace Hotel will cost, and what happened on the investigation of UNFICYP CFO Husein Moussa for becoming a Cyprus citizen. On the last, she said it is subject to a "professional" investigation. Very thorough, for an organization which can evict and still restrict the Press, for doing its job, without any hearing or appeal. Her answers are here. We'll have more on this. At noon on August 15 Inner City Press asked UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric, “Is there any UN role during the upcoming General Assembly week to try to get it back on track?  And does the Secretary-General take note of various statements since it fell apart?” Video here, UN transcript here and below. Now on October 6, Dujarric has issued this statement: "“At 10:50 am on 4 October, an UNFICYP vehicle carrying humanitarian supplies departed Nicosia for Greek Cypriot communities in the Karpas, as has been regular practice for close to four decades. UNFICYP was obliged to limit today’s delivery to medical aid supplies, following the Turkish Cypriot administration’s unilateral decision to impose taxes and fees on other humanitarian goods. UNFICYP regrets the decision taken by the Turkish Cypriot administration, which it considers to be an unfortunate development. The Mission’s role of delivering humanitarian assistance to Greek Cypriot and Maronite communities in the northern part of the island is based on a longstanding agreement between the sides known as Vienna III, and provides hundreds of elderly and other vulnerable people with basic supplies on a weekly basis. UNFICYP stands ready to assist the sides to reach a mutually acceptable solution, with the interests of the affected communities in mind."  What impact will this have? Back on August 15 Dujarric replied that “The Secretary-General was clear in his comments in Crans-Montana that he remains available should the parties come to him.  I'm sure that Cyprus will be one of the many issues that will be discussed in the Secretary-General's various bilaterals that he will have during the General Assembly.” As Secretary General Antonio Guterres has been petitioned by more than 2,000 people, Inner City Press remains restricted in its movements and access in the UN, for having covered the Ng Lap Seng UN bribery scandal in the UN Press Briefing Room. These restrictions remain in place 18 months later, even with the 2017 General Assembly high level week a mere month away. Two days after Inner City Press published the two-page July 4, 2017 Eide “Leaders' Meeting” statement as leaked to it, scan on Patreon, below here in full, it asked Guterres' deputy spokesman Farhan Haq, UN transcript here: Inner City Press: I actually have a follow-up on Cyprus. It was leaked to Inner City Press a document called Leaders Meeting 4.7.2017, which purports to be Mr. Eide conveying what he understood from António Guterres, including by text message, that, on troops, Mr. Guterres wanted a reduction to the level of those under the old Treaty of Alliance, the levels of 1960, and any number of other issues.  Given the importance of the issue, is that his position? And now that Mr. Eide’s no longer in the position, is this his document?  Is this the final position of the Secretary-General?

Deputy Spokesman:  First of all, I don’t have any comment on… on leaked documents.  Second of all... ultimately, the positions in a diplomatic process are ones that will be evolved through discussions with the parties themselves. I wouldn’t have any comment on what the state of play may have been four or five months ago.  Diplomatic processes evolve over time.

Here it is: “Leaders' Meeting 4.7.2017
Eide: I talked with the UNSG last night and also this morning we were texting and follows closely what is going on and he is very interested and of course, as all, he was a little worried about the lack of progress.
Based on my conversations with him, I would like to clarify the points he raised based on the conversation I held with him and his comments.
On security, I think we have to start recognizing that what we need is a new security regime, not the continuation of the old. I think we need, as he said, the end of the unilateral right of intervention and the end of the Treaty of Guarantees. The current situation will be replaced by a solid system of assurances where the whole of Cyprus and all Cypriots of both communities will feel secure and by robust implementation and oversight mechanisms that will include an outside element (international dimension: UN, multilateral / international / friendly countries. Current guarantors cannot implement and monitor themselves.
On troops, there would be a rapid reduction from Day 1 to a low level and then to numbers equivalent to those in the old Treaty of Alliance (timetable to reach the levels of 1960 and verifying mechanism to oversight needs to be agreed). In relation to sunset clause versus review clause, this was something that would need to be discussed at the highest level. Need to discuss mandate / purpose / SOFA agreement, obligations and so on.
On territory, the TC side need to adjust the map presented to respond to concerns expressed by GCs regarding some localities. You need to say Morphou.
On property there are two principles: for areas under territorial adjustment and the rest regime to be constructed in a way that would lend itself to give prevalence to dispossessed owners but not a 100%, for areas not under territorial adjustment regime to be constructed in a way that would lend itself to give prevalence to current useers but not a 100%. Specific elements to be further elaborated.
On equivalent treatment, as regards permanent residence of Turkish nationals to have a quota and that should be equitable to Greek nationals who become permanent residents, except the regime related to students, tourists and posted workers. Further discussion is needed on what is equitable on the application of permanent residence.
The issue of effective participation needs to be discussed further as regards the issue of a favorable vote (when and under which conditions, which bodies and the relevant deadlock-resolving mechanisms), while any other remaining elements in power-sharing, including the demand of the TC side for rotating Presidency should also be discussed.” We'll have more on this.


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