Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Cyprus mediator, Alexander Downer is a spy

In light of the recent discussions, speculations and threats (by Turkey) about the potentially large hydrocarbon deposits south of Cyprus it is probably worth referring to an article titled, “The Mediator who is a Spy” written by Angelos Athanasopoulos that was published in the Greek newspaper, To Vima late last year. The article can be accessed here.

As most people will know, the former Australian foreign minister, Alexander Downer was appointed as the Special Envoy of
the UN Secretary General for Cyprus in 2007. Essentially, he has been working as a mediator between the two negotiating parties that are trying to figure out a solution following the Turkish invasion of the island a little more than 35 years ago.

Interestingly, Alexander Downer has since May 2008 been working for the British company, Hakluyt & Co. This company was founded in the 1990s by former MI6 agents to provide strategic intelligence/information to multinational corporations that want to invest in areas where the political and economic environment is unstable; of course, with a view to profit.

Despite being founded by former British former secret service agents Hakluyt is increasingly comprised of former politicians, diplomats and people in general with access to political, economic and business centers of power. As the former foreign minister of Australia, Alexander Downer would have supervised the intelligence services of Australia and had direct access to “hot” information. Obviously, he still has friends both inside and outside Australia.

To Vima contacted Hakluyt last year and a company executive, who wished to remain anonymous, confirmed that Alexander Downer was working on behalf of them; and in particular, as a member of the Advisory Council. He also stated that members of the Advisory Council, "are either not paid or receive a token amount". He also stated that members do "not make their living from this job". In Cyprus, Alexander Downer was asked directly about his role and the membership of Hakluyt, and he answered:
I do not know where all the members working for the company come from, nor am I responsible for these members. I am a member of the Advisory Council, I meet with members of the Council once a year and provide perspectives on the situation of different regions such as Asia.
Athanasopoulos then raises some important questions, which have recently become even more relevant, as speculation over the hydrocarbon deposits has increased:

However, questions arise from the activities of the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General on Cyprus. Because of his role, Mr Downer has access to confidential information which would be useful to many. Does he only inform the United Nations and the parties in Cyprus or does he inform others? And who are they? Moreover, how will the actual negotiations on the Cyprus issue be influenced by the dual activities of Downer?

If Hakluyt provides information to businesses so they can reduce investment risk, the presence of Downer could affect, for example, the activity of oil companies interested in undertaking investigations into suspected continental shelf deposits off the coast of Cyprus? Moreover, the relationship of Hakluyt with giants such as BP and Shell could easily lead to such suspicions.

Athanasopoulos then goes on to provide information on the the identity of Hakluyt. General information can be found
here (the company's website does not really contain any information). He also states that the people who have worked for Hakluyt are long and illustrious. Alarmingly, but perhaps not surprisingly, in 1997, just two years after the company's establishment, the current foreign minister of Sweden, Carl Bildt also became a member. Hellenic Antidote recently provided some interesting information on the odious Bildt and his rabidly pro-Turkish positions which can be accessed here. Also, Athanasopoulos points out, and certainly not surprisingly, the former U.S. Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger and his firm Kissinger Associates have also worked with Hakluyt. Every Greek should know about Kissinger's evil and his role in the dismemberment of the island.

Source: To Vima (Angelos Athanasopoulos), Antipodes

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