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Cyprus Talks

Opposition parties ‘scaremongering’, Anastasiades says

The president's letter did not include any confidential information, the government said on Monday

President Nicos Anastasiades on Thursday accused hard line opposition parties of scaremongering and suggested that their  objective was to terminate the negotiations on the island’s reunification.

Responding to a joint statement issued by the five smaller opposition parties, Anastasiades said efforts to foment confrontation was not helpful to the ongoing effort to terminate occupation and reunify the island.

“And I wonder whether what certain people really want, through their daily statements, is the termination of the negotiations,” the president said in a written statement.

“Any concerns that have been voiced are respected, without however, justifying the systematic and unsubstantiated scaremongering that certain people engage in on a daily basis.”

Anastasides said the negotiations were with the Turkish Cypriot side and not the parties.

“It is completely wrong and it raises reasonable questions when certain parliamentary parties choose to adopt the unacceptable Turkish position about a defunct Republic of Cyprus,” he added.

Earlier on Thursday, the five smaller opposition parties that oppose the ongoing process, issued a joint statement criticizing the president.

They claimed he had made concessions and stressed that the RoC must be present at the conference scheduled for Geneva in January.

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

They also asked the president to invite the five UN Security Council members to the conference also.

Government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides said the RoC will be present at the Geneva talks.

“This matter is not up for discussion,” Nicos Christodoulides said. “The Republic of Cyprus (RoC) will be present in Geneva.”

Christodoulides added that President Nicos Anastasiades has asked for a legal opinion on the matter.

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 has said that “other relevant parties shall be invited as needed”.

Ruling Disy responded to the joint statement suggesting that in the past similar utterances had been fully disproved.

The party also replied to criticism that Anastasiades had agreed to “suffocating time frames”.

“It is a fact, not only now, but for about a year, since the end of 2015, that certain people are constantly preoccupied with whether there will be a time frame instead of how to find a suitable agreement to end Turkish occupation,” the party said.

Disy also rubbished the claim that Anastasiades had agreed to Turkish conditions on the procedure.

“They deliberately ignore the fact that President Anastasiades is leading Turkey to the point where the matter of the unwanted guarantees will be discussed. Let them tell us when was Turkey compelled before to discuss the issues it always considered its vested rights.”

As regards their suggestion to invite the UN SC members to the conference, opposition parties were rather late, Disy said.

“Because this has been happening in a systematic manner for some time now.”

In Turkey, a spokesman said President Tayyip Erdogan will also be taking part in the international conference.

“Our president will also participate in this meeting. If the right steps are made, I can say we are very close to the solution.”

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