Cyprus Mail

Hardliners censure president over handling of talks

National Council

The five nominally centrist parties, which oppose the ongoing efforts to reunify the island, on Thursday censured President Nicos Anastasiades for supposedly showing full contempt towards the national council and the country’s political parties.

In a joint statement, Diko, Edek, the Citizens’ Alliance, Solidarity, and the Green party accused Anastasiades of not keeping his promises as regards the negotiating framework and of fully accepting the Turkish conditions concerning the procedure, which however, also touched upon the substance.

The parties “criticized” Anastasiades for accepting a “suffocating time frame” leading to the January 12 conference, irrespective of any development in the negotiation of the territorial aspect or any other aspects being negotiated at this point.

The talks in Geneva are set to begin on January 9, while on January 11 the two sides are to present their respective maps with territorial criteria.

The international conference on security and guarantees with guarantor powers Turkey, Greece, and Britain will take place the next day. The UN said that “other relevant parties shall be invited as needed”.

The five parties, which traditionally maintain a hard line as regards the island’s division, said the president’s concession neutralized any negotiating power the Greek Cypriot side had and allowed the Turkish side to set all the non-agreed issues on the table on January 12.

They asked the president to write to the UN Secretary-General requesting an invitation for the Republic of Cyprus to the conference.

“The absence of the Republic of Cyprus from such a conference will confirm Turkey’s claim that the Republic is defunct,” the statement said.

They also want assurances that the Republic would be contracting party to any agreement abolishing the Treaty of Guarantee and the Treaty of Alliance.

The agenda of the conference, they said, should only concern the matters of security, troop withdrawal, and abolition of the two treaties.

Anastasiades must also undertake initiatives to invite the five UN Security Council members to the conference, they said. They also “demand” national council meetings before January 9 and asked to accompany the president to Switzerland.

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