By George Psyllides
President Nicos Anastasiades on Wednesday reiterated his readiness to attend a joint meeting, if invited, with the UN Secretary-General and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci in Switzerland later this month.
“If invited I will certainly take part because the UNSG should be informed about the actual status of the talks; the progress achieved and the problems we have,” Anastasiades said.
If it takes place, the meeting will be held on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos between January 20 and 23.
Both Anastasiades and Akinci are invited.
EDEK expressed concern over the move, saying the party was convinced that an attempt was underway to systematically upgrade the breakaway Turkish Cypriot state in the north.
“This meeting cannot be justified from the moment the President of the Republic is invited in his capacity as president and Mr. Akinci is invited under a completely different capacity,” EDEK chairman Marinos Sizopoulos said in a statement.
Such a meeting will not be downgrading the president to a leader of a community but it will be upgrading Akinci to president or representative of a so-called state entity, he said.
DIKO suggested Akinci was being upgraded to “co-president” with Anastasiades’ acceptance in advance to meet the Turkish Cypriot leader alone, or in the presence of the UNSG in Davos, “where only heads of state participate.”
And all this, according to the party, amid a blackout that aimed in taking people by surprise and subsequently blackmailing them.
“The people must be informed about the developments,” DIKO said. “The people can act as a protective shield for our negotiator because they will protect him from pressure.”
On Wednesday, Anastasiades and Akinci took part in lunch organised by the Greek and Turkish forum in Nicosia.
“It was an extremely constructive meeting with the encouragement of the Greek and Turkish forum, which, after 2006, also includes Cypriots,” Anastasiades said afterwards.
He said the two leaders briefed the delegation about the progress in the talks and also exchanged views on how problems could be overcome and the prospects for the future.
A solution bodes well for an auspicious future for all Cypriots as well as the improvement of relations between Greece and Turkey and Turkey and the EU, he added.
Akinci said it was useful meeting during which they exchanged views and listened to what members of the forum had to say.
“We have the same vision, not only about the future of Cyprus, but our entire region and relations between Greece and Turkey,” he said.
The Turkish Cypriot leader said he would have the opportunity to meet Anastasiades in Davos “but don’t expect anything exciting.”
He added that there was no invitation yet for a meeting that would include Cyprus’ guarantor powers – Britain, Turkey, Greece – in Davos and he did not expect one.