President Nicos Anastasiades will meet separately on Monday with Edek leader Marinos Sizopoulos and Diko chief Nikolas Papadopoulos to brief them on last week’s dinner with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci.
They will go to the Presidential Palace in the morning, while more meetings are planned with the rest of the party leaders possibly within the coming week. There were calls for a meeting of the national council, but Anastasiades chose to brief each leader separately.
The meetings are also expected to discuss the suggestions by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, who was in the north on Friday, for a two-state solution or a confederation. Cavusoglu reportedly brought up the idea of abandoning the bizonal, bicommunal federation (BBF), which the two sides were negotiating, at his meeting with Akinci.
His proposal is said to have surprised Akinci who expressed his opposition to it despite the fact some parties in the north agree with it.
The Anastasiades government has yet to respond to the report, but some parties took a clear stand against it. Akel spokesman Stefanos Stefanou reiterated on Sunday the importance of reaching a settlement, saying that as long as the Cyprus problem remained unsolved, proposals that deviated from the agreed BBF would gradually increase.
He added that Turkey was taking advantage of the deadlock in the peace process to promote “its plans for making the partition permanent”.
The best response to the alleged position of the Turkish foreign minister, he said, “is our persistence and consistency on the agreed settlement basis”. He said it was positive that Akinci remained committed to BBF. Stefanou warned however, that as time passes reaching an agreement became more difficult.
The Greens said that the ‘leaking’ of Cavusoglu’s proposal was a calculated, indirect “threat so that the Turkish side is not exposed internationally. it said that the “threatening message was directed specifically at the Greek Cypriot leadership”. The party warned that Turkish threats should not be underestimated.
The Solidarity Movement said that the Cypriot government ought to utilise the time until elections in Turkey to review its policies to “find the way out of the dead ends we led ourselves into”.
Akinci and Anastasiades met last Monday for dinner in the buffer zone after. It was their first meeting since the collapse of the talks nine months ago in Switzerland. Following the meeting, Anastasiades said they had an honest discussion on the problems faced, the prospect of a new dialogue, and on the disagreements of the two sides.