Friday, 20 March 2009

Clinton invites Cyprus occupation leader to Washington

In a previous post, I suggested that the statement US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton released with her Turkish counterpart, Ali Babacan, concerning Cyprus, which called for the lifting of the 'isolation' of the Turkish Cypriots, was meaningless and didn't reflect an attempt by the USA to upgrade the status of Turkey's pseudo-state in the north; but it seems I was being naive and didn't appreciate how mind-bogglingly hypocritical, cowardly and base American foreign policy is.

Below is an article 
from yesterday's (Cypriot daily) Phileleftheros (my translation), which reveals that in an effort to boost the status of Mehmet Ali Talat, leader of the Turkish occupation regime in Cyprus, Clinton has invited him for an official visit to Washington. The Phileleftheros article is also noteworthy for drawing attention to the fact that the chief architect of the US's efforts to upgrade the Turkish occupation regime in Cyprus is a Greek-American diplomat, Gregory Makris. With Greeks like these, who needs Turks?

Hillary does a favour for Erdogan and invites Talat to Washington

The leader of the Turkish Cypriots, Mehmet Ali Talat, will be in New York and Washington at the end of next week to meet with UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon, and the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and National Security Adviser James Jones.

An American official told Phileleftheros he 'couldn't confirm the information'; but another source said the meeting with Clinton is 'certain', even if Washington is now having second thoughts after receiving protests from Athens and Nicosia, who made it clear that any meeting with the occupation leader would be considered extremely provocative.

Nicosia is particularly annoyed that the Americans are boosting Talat and upgrading his political status while the US secretary of state has yet to meet her Cypriot counterpart and, indeed, the new American government has so far not invited any Cypriot official to Washington.

Nicosia considers the American move raises serious questions about America's motives and displays extreme bias, especially at a time when negotiations for a Cyprus settlement are in progress.

One American diplomat told Phileleftheros that Clinton's proposed meeting with Talat would send out the wrong message to President Christofias.

'Before Christofias was elected,' the diplomat said, 'we could have tried to justify such a move by saying the president was the hardliner Tassos Papadopoulos. But now the president is someone who has a fervent wish to find a Cyprus solution.'

According to reliable sources, during their recent meeting in Ankara, Turkish prime minister Recip Tayyip Erdogan asked Clinton, as a personal favour to him, to meet with Talat.

Clinton didn't exclude the possibility and agreed to discuss it with her advisers.

The same sources reveal that the US embassy in Cyprus, on the advice of Greek-American Gregory Makris, head of the embassy's political section, recommended that Erdogan's request be accepted, noting that such a meeting between Talat and Clinton would assist Talat in the internal politics of the pseudo-state.

Makris, who frequently speaks out against the president of Cyprus, is known to be a strong supporter of ending the so-called 'isolation' of the Turkish Cypriots. He mentions the issue in nearly all the correspondence he sends from Nicosia.

The Greek-American diplomat, in his private discussions, refuses to accept that the so-called 'isolation' of the Turkish Cypriots is a consequence of the Turkish occupation of northern Cyprus.