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Cyprus Cyprus Talks

President’s new plan dismissed as ‘coffeeshop talk’

Andros Kyprianou

President Nicos Anastasiades’ decentralised federation proposal will prove to be mere coffeeshop talk that would only raise more problems in the reunification talks, main opposition Akel leader said on Friday.

Speaking at a news conference, Kyprianou said the UN secretary-general had asked the two leaders to provide a simple answer as regards continuation of the talks but Anastasiades seemed instead to have placed more obstacles.

“Instead of responding to the UNSG’s simple demand with a clear yes, without footnotes and conditions, the president tried to kick the ball into touch and bring back something else to the pitch,” Kyprianou said, using football terms. “An irresponsible and half-baked proposal, which not only does not tackle the essence of the problems but on the contrary adds to them,” he said, describing Anastasiades’ proposal.

For the past two months, he added, people have been engaged in a discussion without substance because Anastasiades did not provide any.

“Time is being wasted instead of focusing on the substance. And in the end, it will be proven that they were empty words, coffeeshop talk.”

Kyprianou said the president must realise he could not handle the issue on the basis of tactics and expediency but on the need to free and reunify the country.

The president held a news conference on Tuesday in which he attempted to explain his concept of a loose or decentralised federal model of reunification, but opposition parties said they were none the wiser afterwards.

Anastasiades said his proposal was not new as it was included in a memo he had submitted to the National Council back in 2010.

At the time he had expressed his concern that the concentration of powers in a central state, instead of strengthening the constituent state “would multiply the risk of friction, impasse and paralysis, and would immediately threaten the functioning and viability of the state”.

Anastasiades said he repitched this proposal to allay concerns of both communities and give a push to the talks. He stressed that “decentralisation of powers was one thing, and loose federation another.”

He stressed that he was not proposing a confederation or a two-state solution.

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