Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias has expressed his annoyance after a POLITICO article claimed that he was excluded from the talks on Cyprus in Mont Pelerin.
The article is by journalist Sara Stefanini a climate and energy reporter at POLITICO based in Brussels. According to her CV before joining POLITICO, Stefanini was an editor and reporter at Interfax Energy, covering global oil and gas news, and a reporter at ICIS Energy, covering European gas, power and emissions markets, both in London. Before that, she worked as freelance journalist in Mumbai and reporter at Law 360 in New York.
It seems that Stefanini is quite the expert on Cyprus and the information she provides is reputable, authoritative and not mandated!
Stefanini’s article, which was strongly criticised by Nikos Kotzias, states that the Greek Foreign Minister was excluded from the continuation of the peace talks because of his attitude at the International Conference in Geneva, more specifically the article states that the Foreign Minister “went rogue”, which was the reason for the discontinuation of the talks.
The author’s use of the imagination seems to have no limit as it then refers to the participation of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in place of Kotzias. As it turns out the article’s author, is not aware that international conferences follow a specific protocol, which means that obviously she doesn’t know exactly what happened in Geneva, otherwise, we assume, she wouldn’t have signed the article.
The video by the Greek ANT1 TV journalist Isaac Karipidis VIDEO filmed at the Intercontinental Hotel where Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias were staying contradicts statements by Greek and Foreign media of any problems during the Geneva talks.
The discussion that can be heard between the two In the video is indicative of the very good cooperation that exists between the Greek and Cypriot side, crushing any attempt to create a negative climate in the relations between the two countries.
The Greek Minister who was in Paris participating in the conference on the Middle East, told the Athens News Agency that reports in the media “contain a number of distortions of the events. For example they say that we were the ones that interrupted the process, because the technical team is going next week. This is not true. Both the UN Secretary General as well as President Anastasiades and myself proposed that the Geneva Conference continues on Friday at a political level, as planned” the minister explained, adding that “it was very important that the talks would continue on a political level because instructions needed to be given as to how the technical teams would work. This is because the Turks who left the negotiation and left Geneva on Friday morning, said they had no time for the negotiations and asked that the technical teams meet. But the answer was that without political instructions technical teams cannot meet”.
Again, according to the Minister, political consultations and political content for the conference was planned for Thursday and Friday, but the Turks canceled it.
“It is amazing that there are European, Greek or other media which adopt the opinions of those who canceled the agreed process in Geneva. Some think they can do whatever they want and then pass the blame to those who insist on agreements” concluded Kotzias.
As far as the participation of the Greek Foreign Minister is concerned, it was known since Friday January 13 that the Greek team will be lead by the Foreign Ministry’s Secretary General Dimitris Paraskevopoulos as he after all stressed during a press conference at the UN in Geneva.
Obviously the fact that Kotzias’ name was not included in the list of participants for January 18th, is what caused the POLITICO article and consequently his exclusion scenario.
On Sunday evening the Maximos Mansion and the Prime Minister’s Office issued an announcement once again denying “publications that illustrate a difference of opinion” between Greece and Cyprus./ΙΒΝΑ