President Nicos Anastasiades was criticised on Monday by opposition Akel over his defence of comments he made in an interview published on Friday.
Anastasiades seemed to suggest in the interview with lifo.gr, in answer to a question about a two-state solution, that the Greek Cypriot political leadership should, given Turkish intransigence and the failure to reach a solution, ask in what way there could be peace.
“It would be inconceivable at this time that a process is underway given the basis of what has been agreed in the past, namely the reunification of Cyprus through a bizonal-bicommunal federation, to discuss something different,” he said. “However, considering Turkish claims [on Cyprus’ EEZ], the negative consequences of the prolongation of the deadlock, it would be good for the Greek Cypriot leadership, the government and the political forces to think, given Turkish intransigence and failure to reach a solution, how there will be the necessary peace and stability in Cyprus.”
On Sunday Anastasiades defended the comment and dismissed earlier condemnation from Akel, saying he never referred to two states.
“I spoke and talked about the necessary reflection that the Greek Cypriot political leadership should do in case that Turkey continues its claims,” he said.
What needs to be done is to “reflect on what is going to secure the peace, stability, prospect and the future of our country”.
But Akel leader Andros Kyprianou said on Monday, Anastasiades was not doing enough to combat the perception that he is advocating for a two-state solution.
“When you publicly state positions in a way that refers to two separate entities in Cyprus, then it is justifiably less questionable about what your real intentions are,” he said.
“I am sorry to note that Mr Anastasiades has put himself in this position. Speaking yesterday [Sunday], at least with what we have read, he did not once find the strength to defend the idea of a bi-communal bizonal federation, for which he says he is working to reach an agreement. So, with regressions and contradictions, all he can do is cause problems and scatter questions and questions to society as to whether the solution can be reached on the basis of the bicommunal bizonal federation. Mr Anastasiades should be concerned about this behaviour.”
Kyprianou said that with the elections in Turkey being over, if Greek Cypriots really want a solution “we should not sit with our fingers crossed waiting for someone to take an initiative on the Cyprus problem”.