Nicosia hopes that controversial UN special envoy for Cyprus Alexander Downer will voluntarily quit his diplomatic post after he once again infuriated the Greek Cypriot side.
“There is no trust in him whatsoever; this was made crystal clear to Ms Lisa Buttenheim (special representative of the UN Secretary General in Cyprus) whom the foreign ministry summoned on Monday evening. Nicosia’s hope is that he quits this sensitive post himself,” an insider told The Cyprus Daily .
An official announcement said Downer’s action on Saturday in meeting Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu at the country’s ‘embassy’ in the breakaway north ‘seriously undermined’ efforts by President Anastasiades to kick-start UN-brokered Cyprus peace talks.
Cyprus’ UN permanent representative in New York was also asked to protest this action – which gives ground for recognition of the illegal entity - “at the highest possible level – the UN Secretariat”.
Nonetheless, informed sources said that Downer - whose undiplomatic skills and actions - have angered the Greek Cypriot side more than once is expected to visit the island again in mid-January.
“And act like nothing has happened even though it is absurd for a UN representative to violate UN resolutions. Especially at a crucial time when diplomatic efforts are underway for the peace dialogue to resume,” a source close to the President said.
At the same time, party leaders have called on Anastasiades to declare Downer a persona non-grata. And the House of Representatives will raise this issue for discussion.
For the moment, the Greek Cypriot side is ‘in limbo’ after Davutoglu’s latest visit in the north failed to initiate any breakthrough in prospects of the talks’ resumption.
Negotiations continue with the UN in Nicosia in a bid to reach agreement on the joint communiqué clarifying the basis of the negotiations.
This is a pre-condition set by the President who has made it clear that he won’t enter a dialogue for the sake of entering a dialogue.
Davutoglu has called on the Greek Cypriot side to make “positive” contributions to revive the process.
And Nicosia argued that he has torpedoed any possibility for the resumption of a substantive dialogue by insisting on a two-state solution.
Hopes had been high that negotiations would resume last month, but they have stuttered over the wording of the joint statement on basic principles.
Nicosia argues the Turkish side wants to undermine what is non-negotiable – the issue of sovereignty.