The leaders of the two biggest parties on Tuesday called for unity on the domestic political front as the Cyprus peace talks are set to enter their most critical stage.
“In this effort no one is redundant,” Andros Kyprianou, head of main opposition AKEL, told reporters after meeting with Averof Neophytou, leader of the ruling DISY party.
The tete-a-tete was held for Kyprianou to brief Neophytou on his recent trip to Turkey and his talks there with the Turkish Prime Minister and the Turkish Foreign Minister.
“We all need to rise to the occasion so that we may see how we can cooperate despite any differences between us, in order to assist the effort underway which is aimed at reaching a solution of the Cyprus problem based on principles,” Kyprianou said.
The AKEL chief reiterated his party’s commitment to the peace process, hastening to add that the “road ahead will not be strewn with roses, it will be full of difficulties which require hard work to be overcome.”
For his part, Neophytou described Kyprianou’s visit to Turkey as extremely significant.
“It was not only a party mission, it was a national mission, as the leader of a party had the opportunity to present to the Turkish Prime Minister and Turkish Foreign Minister the positions of the Greek Cypriot side,” he said.
As a result of Kyprianou’s contacts in Turkey, the DISY leader said, the Greek Cypriot side now had a better picture of Turkey’s thoughts and positions on the Cyprus issue.
The time for political polaristion is over, Neophytou said.
“Citizens, I feel, want and aspire to political cooperation so that we can overcome the challenges and at long last live in a reunited country.”
The two party leaders were asked to comment on the leaking to the media of a talks-related document distributed to the National Council on Monday.
DIKO has accused the Presidential Palace itself of leaking the document as part of a Machiavellian ploy to give the government an excuse not to give parties negotiation documents in the future.
DIKO also suggested that the leak was orchestrated by the government in cahoots with AKEL.
Commenting on DIKO’s take, Kyprianou cited Joseph Goebbels’ infamous quote: “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.
“I think this is what is happening to DIKO,” he added.
The AKEL leader said he was not ‘a detective’ to discover the source of the leak, but surmised two possibilities: either the leak was done deliberately to undermine the peace process, or certain politicians were trying to score points with the media.
Neophytou likewise lamented the leak, adding that unfortunately the meetings of the National Council are often used for grandstanding and fomenting dissent.
“All this does not honour a country which is struggling for national survival,” he noted.