AKEL leader Andros Kyprianou has accepted an invitation to meet Turkish Foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, and will visit Turkey on January 23, he announced on Friday.
Speaking at a New Year’s event at AKEL’s headquarters, Kyprianou said he has already been in touch with President Nicos Anastasiades, to arrange a meeting to prepare for the visit in the best way possible.
“The meeting will be held on January 23, and I have already spoken with the president to set up a meeting so that we can best prepare,” he said in his speech.
Reflecting on the past year from the podium, Kyprianou said both party and country had a “very difficult year”.
“With the coming of the new year, we must send a message of optimism to the Cypriot people,” he said.
“That we will fight with all our strength – provided Turkey exhibits the necessary responsiveness – to finally liberate and reunite our country, which is a common country for Greek Cypriots, Turkish Cypriots, Armenians, Latins, and Maronites.”
AKEL, Kyprianou said, has proven its patriotism and responsibility, and irrespective of how Anastasiades and DISY treated the Christofias government, the communist party has shown that it places the country’s interests over and above petty politicking.
“We supported the procedure for a settlement of the Cyprus problem, once we realised that it was moving in the right direction, and we tried to contribute so that conditions for agreement could be created,” he said.
“It won’t be an easy path – we will face many difficulties and problems, owing to both Turkey’s intransigence, and the views voiced by the Turkish Cypriot leadership. Regardless, there is only one path: tough negotiations with evidence-backed arguments, to try and persuade others.”
Criticising the Anastasiades government on a range of issues, Kyprianou said the upcoming elections to the legislature, scheduled for May 2016, will be an especially difficult fight.
“The electoral result will be of extreme importance, although of equal – and perhaps more – importance will be the effort we have to make among the people, through mobilisations and actions we will undertake,” he said.
“AKEL must present a strong ticket, with individuals who, if elected, can give back to the public and not seek personal gains from the public office.”