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Akinci rebuffs reception with German Foreign Minister

Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci did not attend a reception in honour of German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Tuesday night because his request that the two sides be represented at the event on an equal footing was not met satisfactorily, spokesman Baris Burcu said.

The reception was hosted by the German ambassador to Cyprus at the Chateau Status restaurant in the Nicosia buffer zone, and both Akinci and President Nicos Anastasiades were invited to attend.

In a written statement, Burcu said that, despite a fruitful meeting with Steinmeier earlier in the day, Akinci did not consider it proper to attend the reception, much as he would have liked to.

In such events, Burcu added, the two communities’ equal status is a “known reality”, and this is also reflected in addressing the two sides.

But despite reminding the German embassy of this “reality” in advance, a satisfactory response was not forthcoming, the spokesman said.

Burcu added that, according to the information available to the Turkish Cypriot side, Anastasiades would be addressed as ‘President of the Republic’, and Akinci as ‘Turkish Cypriot leader’.

For this reason, Akinci decided not to attend the event, his spokesman said.

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