Cyprus Mail

Some parties feel short-changed after National Council meeting (Update 2)

By Andria Kades

The National Council met on Saturday for President Nicos Anastasiades to brief the political party leaders on the Cyprus talks and the recent visits to the island by top foreign diplomats but the opposition parties left dissatisfied and at least one warning of imminent doom.

After the meeting, Deputy Government Spokesman Victoras Papadopoulos told reporters that the president had briefed the members extensively about all his meetings abroad since September, as well as about the visits by European officials, state leaders and foreign ministers to Cyprus recently.

In recent weeks Cyprus has hosted the foreign ministers of Germany, UK, US and Russia, plus French President Francois Hollande on Friday on a brief stopover. The Chinese foreign minister is due on December 21. Excluding Germany, this means that representatives of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council will have visited the island in the space of a month or so.

The visits are seen as a sign of support for the momentum in the Cyprus talks.

Anastasiades also briefed them on the Informal EU-Turkey Summit, which took place in Brussels last weekend, the deputy spokesman added.

He also responded to several questions by National Council members over developments in negotiations during the last ten meetings between the leaders of the two communities, as well as meetings between the negotiators from both sides, he said.

But other than AKEL and DISY, which support the negotiations process, the rejectionist parties left dissatisfied particularly DIKO boss Nicolas Papadopoulos who immediately tweeted a message of doom and gloom, saying: “after the national council, I feel the need to warn that the Republic of Cyprus is headed to dissolution, and Cypriot Hellenism to adventures.”

Speaking to reporters after the meeting he said party leaders were always informed last after Anastasiades had “selectively briefed other members”.

“It seems as though the president of the Republic insists on continuing a strategy in the Cyprus problem that leads to one defeat after another,” while Cyprus continues to compromise and Turkey’s stance remains resolute, he added.

He called on AKEL, DISY and Anastasiades to work together on a new strategy for a sustainable solution ensuring human rights. The Citizens Alliance also felt short-changed, demanding to see documents from the negotiations.

Also completely knocking any positive climate that had been created, Greens MP Giorgos Perdikis said the claim that a solution to the Cyprus problem was within reach in the space of a few months was “absolute nonsense”.

He also sought to stress Anastasiades had not backed up his words with documents during the meeting.

EDEK leader Marinos Sizopoulos was also disappointed, saying only small things had been achieved, none of which were important and negotiations were heading towards a confederation and not a democratic federation.

“The proposals being discussed seem to lead to a disguised form of confederation and not a democratic federation that had been the intended purpose as is written in a joint statement from September 2009.”

On the other hand, Evroko leader Demetris Syllouris said he was satisfied with the briefing but hadn’t seen much in the way of progress. Leaving the palace, he told reporters there would be another discussion before Christmas.  “I am satisfied with what I heard. Whether we were informed or not, I can’t know.”

“I do not believe there was progress in the points that should concern our side,” such as property, guarantees and the withdrawal of Turkish troops.

AKEL‘s Stephanos Stephanou said the party was supportive of the negotiations and that the Cyprus problem was at a crucial stage.

DISY’s Lefteris Christoforou said he was pleased with the briefing “because a constructive dialogue is underway to resolve the Cyprus problem.”



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