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Cyprus Talks

Akinci says Anastasiades’ mind pulled in two directions, one eye on elections

Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci

Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci said President Nicos Anastasiades currently has his mind pulled in two directions, one focused on a solution and the other the presidential elections next year.

In an interview with Kathimerini, Akinci said that on the talks horizon there were dark clouds forming and thickening and it was up to Anastasiades to dissolve them.

“The mind of Mr Anastasiades has been divided into two parts, one thinks of the solution and the other elections,” Akinci was quoted as saying and he wondered how under the current circumstances steps can be taken towards a solution.

He also warned that in view of new drilling for natural gas slated in the coming months, there would be new tensions.

The leaders have been at odds for over a week due to a vote in parliament to commemorate a 1950 referendum on Enosis – union with Greece – in schools.

The issue led to the breakdown of leaders’ talks last Thursday. Akinci will not return to the table unless Anastasiades moves to admit publicly the vote was wrong, which he did on Saturday, and take action to annul it, which the president says he cannot do as he cannot dictate to parliament, plus he believes Akinci has over reacted.

Ruling Disy has put forward a proposal to transfer the power to commemorate historical events to the education ministry.

In the same newspaper on Sunday, Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides denied that Anastasiades has one eye on the presidential elections, saying his focus was on the talks. Akinci, he said, was taking advantage of the controversial vote to push for keeping guarantees and Turkish troops in Cyprus after a solution.

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