Turkey torpedoed Crans-Montana conference, Greece says

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Just as Turkey abandoned the first Conference on Cyprus, in Geneva, it torpedoed the second one, the Greek Foreign Ministry has said.

The Greek Foreign Ministry said that Turkey drove the Crans-Montana conference to an impasse. “A very characteristic feature of its stance was the revelations Turkey made during the dinner on July 6, when the UN Secretary-General expressed his intention of setting down in writing the points of convergence that had been achieved,” it said.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ goal, the ministry said, was to shape a framework for agreement so that the conclusive negotiations could continue, with Greece’s consent, in New York. “But this was not possible, because when the critical moment was reached at the Conference, Turkey resolutely refused to allow a number of promises it had made to the Secretary-General to be set down in writing,” the ministry said.

It noted that the Turkish side categorically refused to accept the abolition of the inexistent “rights” of intervention it invokes. “An abolition that, a short while earlier, at a bilateral meeting with the UN Secretary-General, Turkey had indicated it would accept at the dinner that was to follow. And this was because Turkey was aware that all of the participants apart from Turkey itself and the Turkish Cypriots demanded their abolition,” it added.

The Greek ministry also recalled that three days earlier, the Turkish foreign minister had bluntly revealed Turkey’s position, according to which Ankara “needed these rights so that it can intervene throughout Cyprus whenever it deems it necessary.”

“The Turkish side also revealed during the dinner of July 6 that it wants to continue the violations in the name of the Treaty of Guarantee, to ensure and perpetuate its military presence in Cyprus,” it said. This, it said was contrary to the promises the Turkish side had made to Guterres on Thursday afternoon.

“Promises that, in hindsight, are revealed to have been an effort to create the false impression that it was ostensibly willing to negotiate. But lies never get one very far, and the truth always finds a way to come out,” the ministry added.

It noted that as soon as Turkey was faced with Guterres proposal for a binding written record of the potential compromises, “it was forced to reveal and admit its real positions and intentions”. It became evident that, throughout the duration of the multilateral negotiations, it said, Turkey had had no intention of compromising, and that, through its stance, sought to deceive the UNSG.

“Immediately after these revelatory developments, the UN Secretary-General was forced to declare, in short order, that the Conference had ended,” it said.

The Greek ministry said that the Conference ended, “with the revelation/confirmation of Turkey’s true intentions, which run counter to international law and the resolutions of the UN”.

It reiterated that “Greece will continue to work relentlessly, with all means at its disposal, for a just and viable solution to the Cyprus problem, in close cooperation with the Republic of Cyprus, the UN and the European Union”.

The statement is the latest in a line of statements, tweets and public announcements from officials of both sides on who was to blame for the collapse of the talks.

The Turkish foreign ministry said on Saturday that responsible for the collapse of the Conference on Cyprus in Switzerland, were the Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias and the Greek Cypriot side.



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