By Jean Christou
President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, who is due in the north on Tuesday, were seen smiling and chatting in numerous photos from Sunday’s EU summit in what the government spokesman on Monday described as a “brief exchange”.
Anastasiades even broke protocol to stand next to Davutoglu in the traditional ‘family photo’ when normally he should have stood next to the Romanian President Klaus Iohannis.
Politis quoted diplomatic sources as saying Davutoglu appeared to be “very constructive” in his views on Cyprus.
Government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides on Monday described the encounter as a tete-a-tete involving a brief exchange of views during which they both expressed the desire for an early solution to the Cyprus problem. “This was the outcome of the exchange the president has with the Turkish prime minister,” he told CyBC.
“There was no special meeting. You understand this could not happen, but within the context of the opportunity at hand to have a brief conversation the desire was expressed for the solution of the Cyprus problem as soon as possible. Beyond that we could not have expected to have a debate on aspects of the Cyprus problem.”
Asked whether Davutoglu appeared positive, the spokesman said he had expressed Turkey’s desire for the Cyprus issue to be resolved, and that the Turkish foreign minister had connected his country’s accession process with efforts to solve the Cyprus problem when he said during the post-summit news conference that when the issue was solved it would be a boost to Turkey’s EU accession.
“It is a statement that either implicitly or explicitly recognises that without solving the Cyprus problem Turkey’s accession process cannot move forward,” the spokesman said.
By Jean Christou