Greek foreign minister Nicos Kotzias has written a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to complain about “the conduct” of UN Special Adviser Espen Barth Eide, reports said on Sunday.
According to Cypriot newspaper Phileleftheros “the letter bluntly stated” that the UN official was acting to promote the Turkish request for the EU four freedoms to be applied to Turkish citizens in the event of a Cyprus solution. The letter is dated April 7, the newspaper said.
The letter reportedly accuses Eide of lobbying for the Turkish side and instead of acting like a UN mediator, he was undertaking to explain to them how best to formulate their demands to the EU.
Kotzias explained to the UN chief that Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side were posing obstacles ahead of discussions on key issues such as guarantees and the withdrawal of Turkish troops. The issue of the four freedoms was being framed, not in the interests of a Cyprus solution but was related to Turkey-EU relations, the report said.
Eide, Kotzias added, was exceeding his mandate by acting in favour of the Turkish side.
The letter states that Eide was advising the Turkish side in a legal sense on how it could promote its demands.
The Cyprus Green Party on Sunday responded to the report saying it had many time asked for Eide to be replaced but that President Nicos Anastasiades had “not only tolerated him but in many cases had supported” the UN envoy.
“The letter from Mr Kotzias to the UN Secretary-General leaves the president exposed once again,” the Greens said.
“The ‘Greek foreign minister clearly denounces the special adviser of the United Nations in Cyprus who exceeds his terms of reference and operates in favor of the Turkish side on the issue of the four freedoms. This letter should have been sent long ago by President Anastasiades and not Mr Kotzias.”
DIKO said in a statement that the letter was “fully justified” and that Kotzias confirmed the view of the party that Eide had exceeded his mandate on an number of occasions and had acted as “a bearer and supporter of Turkish positions, both in the European Union and elsewhere”.
“We invite President Anastasiades to take a clear stance on this issue and support the action of the Greek foreign minister,” the party said.( via CyprusMail)