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‘Unacceptable and counter-productive’ (updated)

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan (right) shakes hands with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci in Istanbul

After president Anastasiades cancelled peace talks scheduled for Friday and cut short a visit to Turkey in anger over a perceived protocol breach at a UN summit where Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci was treated as a head of state all Greek Cypriot parties on Tuesday voiced opinions on the move.

Acting President of the Republic, House President, Yiannakis Omirou said that actions made by the UN “to upgrade the status of the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci in Istanbul” constitute “a straightforward undermining of the negotiating process in Cyprus and violation of the provisions of the UN relevant Security Council resolutions.”

DISY, the party which Anastasiades used to head, backed the move saying the president was right not to attend the dinner as this would be perceived to mean the pseudo state was participating in the summit after Akinci’s sudden invitation.

Ankara’s decision was properly dealt with by the President, spokesman Prodromos Prodromou said while it proved that Anastasiades maintained the correct stance acting on the principles of the Greek Cypriot side.

Main opposition AKEL condemned Erdogan’s move to invite the Turkish Cypriot leader to the summit.
“In addition, Mr Eide’s decision to set up a meeting for Akinci with the UN’s Secretary General was also unacceptable and counter-productive,” the party said.

DIKO diagnosed an effort by the Turkish side to upgrade the status of the self-proclaimed ‘Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus’, and the downgrading of the Republic of Cyprus, and called on Anastasiades to convene the National Council.

“We need to comprehensively assess the situation and carve out a new strategy on the Cyprus problem, which will protect the Republic of Cyprus and take advantage of its comparative advantages, meaning the fact that it is the only recognised state on the island, the fact that it is a member of the European Union and the Eurozone, and the fact that its exclusive economic zone contains hydrocarbons reserves,” spokesman Athos Antoniades said.

Socialists EDEK warned that Eide favours the Turkish side, and questioned Turkey’s interest in finding a solution to the Cyprus problem.

“Since the President and the government have repeatedly spoken of Turkey’s interest in solving the Cyprus problem, we ask whether there has been any request by Turkish officials to meet with the President of the Republic,” EDEK said.

Leader of the Citizens’ Alliance Yiorgos Lillikas was also critical of Ban, saying his attitude towards Cyprus was “unacceptable and deplorable”.

“We welcome the President’s decision to refuse to attend the dinner,” Lillikas said.

“We call on him to make immediate representations to the United Nations’ Secretary General, as well as the permanent members of the Security Council, raising the issue of the Secretary General’s obligation to comply with the resolutions the organisation he leads has passed.”

The Greens’ Yiorgos Perdikis approved of Anastasiades’ refusal to attend the dinner, but said “the damage was done”.

“Why were preventive measures not taken?” he asked, and also called on the government to make representations to the United Nations.

The decision however did not go down well with the regime in the north.

According to Turkish Cypriot press ‘Prime Minister’ Huseyin Ozgurgu said Anastasiades’ decision not to attend the dinner showed that Greek Cypriots still have the mentality they had in 1950, that Cyprus was a Greek island and Turkish Cypriots were a minority.

“Anastasiades does not see the ‘president’ of the TRNC (as he referred to the north) as an equal part.”

Ozgurgu went on to say that on the negotiating table, Anastasiades says there are problems “with the minority in my country. Because that’s how he presents it in the international community, he cannot attend a platform on the same level as Akinci and nor does he want to. It was the same in the UN.”

Nevertheless, he said the dialogue with Akinci was good and he still hoped for a solution by the end of 2016.

Republic Turkish Party general secretary Tufan Erhurman, speaking to Bayrak TV, said Anastasiades’ stance was typical of the Greek Cypriot side.

“I wish Anastasiades had attended the dinner and broken the usual standard attitude, and took, like he did in the past, a photograph with Akinci.”

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