President Nicos Anastasiades said on Thursday he was concerned over the possibility of Turkey sparking a ‘hot incident’ in view of the country’s constitutional referendum on April 16.
“I fear the period from now until the referendum in Turkey, as well as the effort to create a climate of fanaticism within Turkish society,” Anastasiades told CNN Greece.
His comments featured as a blurb in a sneak preview of the full exclusive interview, which CNN Greece will be airing on Friday.
The president had made similar remarks to Greece’s Skai television network earlier this month.
In the interview with CNN Greece, Anastasiades says he is convinced that the peace talks were suspended to help the agenda of Turkish president Tayyip Erdogan.
“I want to believe that my interlocutor, Mustafa Akinci, was sincerely seeking a solution,” he adds.
Negotiations broke off last month after parliament passed a law whereby public schools would commemorate a 1950 referendum for ‘enosis’ [union] with Greece.
Anastasiades has since conceded the move was a mistake, but has also criticised Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci for over-reacting.
Meanwhile Sigma reports that a meeting could take place between Anastasiades and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres during the president’s visit to New York next week.
Citing sources close to the president, Sigma said that a definite date for the meeting should be expected soon. The meet would likely take place on Wednesday, March 22.
Anastasiades is said to be seeking the tete-a-tete to inform the UN chief of the reasons for the suspension of the talks.
Reacting to the news, Akinci was quoted by the Turkish Cypriot media as saying that he would be most displeased unless the UN chief did not summon him as well for a meeting.