Christofias’ poll games bar Cyprus resolution

Christofias’ poll games bar Cyprus resolution

İpek Yezdani ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Christofias’ poll games bar Cyprus resolution

Eroğlu (R) meet with Christofias (L) along with U.N. Special Representative Downer in Nicosia in this file photo.

A solution in Cyprus before the second half of 2012 will be “very, very difficult” because of Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias’ changing attitude on the property issue due to the rise of the racist and ultranationalist movements in Greek Cyprus, a high-ranking diplomatic source from the Turkish Cypriots’ presidency told Hürriyet Daily News in an interview yesterday.

“In June 2012, Greek Cypriot leader Christofias wants to be the term leader of the EU alone, and then he is making the calculations for running for the presidency again in the February 2013 elections. This is why he chases conflict rather than solutions,” said the diplomat who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Derviş Eroğlu met for an hour and a half at the U.N.-controlled Nicosia International Airport Dec. 11 to discuss the property issue. The talks between Christofias and Eroğlu have failed because there was not any progress made on the property issue, U.N. Special Representative for Cyprus Alexander Downer said Dec. 11.

“I think it’s fair to say the meeting was a fairly unsuccessful meeting. There was no progress made in terms of these discussions,” Downer said. “It is important to be frank with you. This meeting could have been better. It was not a productive meeting and we look forward to next week’s meeting being much more productive.”

The Australian diplomat said the U.N. would meet with both leaders and their teams during the week to work on some of the issues. However, a Turkish Cypriot diplomat said it was agreed upon that the Cypriot population consisted “one third” of Turkish Cypriots with regard to property ownership during the infamous Annan Plan, yet Christofias changed this proportion to “one quarter” to address the increasing racist and ultranationalist groups in southern Cyprus.

“Racism has increased tremendously in Greek Cyprus. Last weekend they attacked the girls in the Turkish volleyball team who had been to the south for a tournament,” said the Turkish Cypriot diplomat, adding that a Turkish student who was elected to the student council at Cyprus University was also attacked.

“Christofias wants to give these groups a positive message by promoting the conflict rather than a solution,” the diplomat said. Turkey previously said it would freeze relations during Greek Cyprus’ EU term presidency, which will begin in June 2012.