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Cyprus Cyprus Talks

Music at Othello tower continues to draw fire

Othello's Tower was recently restored and will host a bicommunal musical event

By Evie Andreou

PRESIDENT Nicos Anastasiades’ plans to attend a concert at the recently-renovated Othello Tower in Famagusta in the north on Tuesday night has drawn fire from the home political arena.

On Tuesday night, Anastasiades and Mustafa Akinci are expected to attend a bi-communal concert ‘Music under the moonlight’ performed by ‘Kyprogeneia’, at the Othello Tower. The move was announced on Monday by UN Special Adviser Espen Barth Eide after the two leaders’ meeting.

“In the prevailing positive climate, the two leaders will (tomorrow) participate in a musical event at the Othello tower as agreed by the technical committee on culture,” Eide said.

The technical committee on culture was approved by the two leaders as part of the confidence building measures.

Another event will be THOC’s Hippolytus being staged at Salamis, but nothing concrete has been announced about this event. It is believed the proposal is still with the leaders.

But on Monday, House President Yiannakis Omirou was one of those critical of Anastasiades attending an event in the north. He said it would send the wrong impression that the holder of the highest office in the land would attend an event under the conditions of military occupation.

He said that though he appreciates that contact with the Turkish Cypriots on all levels was required as part of the negotiations process, the presence of “the official Cypriot state in events in the occupied north is another thing”.

The Greens on Sunday said Anastasiades would effectively be taking part in Turkish Cypriot celebrations to mark the July 20 invasion, which they said go on until the end of August.

“Instead of Akinci handing over the keys of the town to Anastasiades as per the resolutions of the UN… he invites him as a host at the Othello Tower,” the Greens said.

“The president should not be carried away by the Turkish Cypriot leader’s PR stunts without taking into consideration the realities, unless he is aiming at provoking all those disagreeing with him and achieve absolute disunity,” the party added.

The Citizens’ Alliance asked Anastasiades whether he would remove the Republic’s flag from his car during his visit in the north.

They argue that even though they believe that confidence building measures can cultivate a positive climate, the solution of the Cyprus problem will not depend on such actions.  “The president’s visits in the north … basically contribute to the upgrading of the breakaway regime,” they said.

However, Anastasiades has already been to the north when he went for a walkabout with Akinci in May in old Nicosia and had coffee. Akinci crossed the same day for coffee in the southern side of the capital. Under the umbrella of the talks, neither Anastasiades nor Akinci has a title other than ‘leader’ of their respective communities.



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