Greece and the Greek Cypriot side, which left the table on the first day of the Geneva talks, aimed at reaching a comprehensive solution in Cyprus on Jan. 12, attempted to make the Turkish side leave the table during the new talks in Crans-Montana.
The talks, which began on June 28 and were monitored by U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres's Special Adviser on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide, failed after 10 days of intense discussions.
The Greek Cypriot side leaked files, which the U.N. had classified as confidential, to the Greek media before sending them to the U.N. and the Turkish side, and while the Greeks never strayed from their discourse of "zero troops, zero guarantee," they also did not take any constructive steps toward offers and suggestions.
On the first day, the Greeks leaked a scenario to the press claiming that the Turkish side and Turkey are ready to give up on withdrawing 80 percent of the troops from the island. This claim was immediately denied by the Turkish Foreign Ministry.
The Turkish delegation, led by Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and the Turkish Cypriots delegation, led by Northern Cypriot Turkish Republic President Mustafa Akıncı, acted in perfect harmony with the U.N. from the first day in close contact with U.N. Secretary-General Guterres, rather than with the media. Such accord brought psychological leverage and showed strategic results from the first day.
Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu followed intense diplomatic traffic and meetings with the representatives of the political parties from the Turkish Cypriot side and discussed underlining that this was the last chance for Cyprus.
Upon a question from reporters during a press conference that suggested an offer was made, Çavuşoğlu said that the press had heard about the offer before as a result of the leak by the Greek side, adding that this was not an "honest" move.
The Greek Cypriot's behavior aimed to provoke the Turkish Cypriots and the Turkish delegation. The conference, which began on the evening of July 6, lasted until the early hours of July 7. During the conference, Akıncı expressed that they suggested continuing the conference for a few days more by also including the prime ministers. He also said: "While we were making suggestions, they [the Greek Cypriots] had their luggage ready. Not ours, but their luggage was ready. I guess their flight time was also already decided."
During the conference on July 3, the guarantor states, Turkey, the U.K and Greece, presented their offers under the general heading of "Security and Guarantees" to the U.N. Afterwards, the Turkish Cypriots and the Greek Cypriots also presented their offer packages.
The U.N. delivered the five packages collected from all sides and decided to be kept confidential. However, the Greek side, before presenting their offers to the other sides, leaked the documents to the Greek Cypriot press, who published them soon after. On June 3, the Greek Radio and Television Directorate (RIK) shared information claiming to have come from the Turkish side on "Security and Guarantees." The claims were shared on the website Sigma on July 4. On the same day, a text, which was reportedly presented by U.N. Secretary-General Guterres on June 30 to the sides, was also shared with Sigma's readers.
However, some information shared was in contradiction with the actual U.N. position on the matter. The Greek website on July 5 shared the information as a list of Anastasiades's offers, which they said were obtained from trustworthy sources.
Once the Turkish side harshly condemned the leaks, the website said their sources were Turkish authorities, for which the website was ridiculed afterwards.
The sides have convened five times since last November to find a solution for the situation in Cyprus. The first round of Switzerland talks took place in two meetings, Nov. 7-11 and Nov. 20-21, in the Swiss town of Mont-Pelerin. The first meeting ended after Anastasiades said they needed more time to think over the Turkish side's offers. The second meeting also ended after the Greek side made aggressive demands and showed an uncompromising attitude, which resulted in their leaving the table.
On Dec. 1, the leaders decided to launch a new series of Cyprus talks in January after efforts were made by U.N. Secretary-General's Special Adviser Eide.
A conference took place on Jan. 12 in Geneva, after intense negotiations on Jan 9-11, with all five parties attending. However, this was also postponed to Jan. 18. when the Greek side said they were not ready.
On June 18, the sides convened once again along with their technical experts. After the Mont Pelerin talks, the aim was to hold a meeting with the foreign ministers to reach to a final decision in early February. On Feb. 10, the Greek Cypriot Parliament decided to mark Enosis day, which blocked the planned meeting. On Feb. 16, Turkish Cypriot President Akıncı and his Greek Cypriot counterpart held a meeting on the island, which was also not fruitful, as Anastasiades left the table.
After the failure of the talks, Akıncı expressed that the unfortunate result was not the end of the world, though disappointing, and that they will continue to search for a solution. The Turkish Cypriot president also stressed that even though the effort was not successful, he believed that the Turkish side had done what they could to reach a solution.
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