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Parties pan Akinci comments after Erdogan meeting

Mustafa Akinci

Opposition parties in Cyprus on Thursday panned the comments made in public by Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci during his visit to Turkey and his meeting with Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan.

Akinci’s trip to Ankara came days before the second round of intensive talks between the leaders of the two communities next week.

Speaking in the Turkish capital on Wednesday after his tete-a-tete with Erdogan, Akinci warned that 2016 was likely the last window of opportunity to reach a settlement on the Cyprus problem.

But he had added there could not be an agreement if there were no equality, freedom, and security.

Akinci said he expected new tension in the areas where Turkish Cypriots also have rights.

“Natural gas in the Mediterranean should not be a cause of tension,” he said. “The logical thing is to have a new cooperation between Greece and Turkey.”

In a statement on Thursday, DIKO said Akinci’s references to guarantees and to natural gas “conclusively prove his identification with Turkey’s objectives.

“With his policies, Mr Mustafa Akinci is serving the interests of Turkey, not of the Turkish Cypriots,” it added.

DIKO went on to warn President Nicos Anastasiades that it would never agree to a settlement that preserves, directly or indirectly, Turkish guarantees over Cyprus.

Likewise EDEK said the outcome of Akinci’s contacts in Turkey confirm that it is Ankara who is calling the shots on the Cyprus issue.

“What matters the most is the security of the Greek Cypriots. The security of the Turkish Cypriots is guaranteed by the European Union, via the full implementation of the EU acquis and by the Human Rights Declaration across the entire territory of the island within the context of a democratic solution.”

For their part, the Citizens Alliance described Akinci as Erdogan’s “proxy.”

The party said it was clear that the Turkish side was not budging one iota from its positions on the Cyprus issue, and was even setting deadlines for an agreement.

“We have systematically stressed that Turkey’s long-standing policy is to exercise control over all of Cyprus, and this it will aim to achieve either by annexing our occupied territories or via a ‘velvet’ arrangement through a partnership leading to a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation serving only the interests of the Turkish side.”

The party called for a realistic “reshaping” of foreign policy geared at exacting the maximum cost on Turkey for its refusal to engage in a fair settlement.

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