Cyprus Mail

President’s call for unity is a joke, Kyprianou says

Akel leader Andros Kyprianou

Opposition Akel leader Andros Kyprianou said on Tuesday President Nicos Anastasiades’ appeal the previous day for unity on the domestic front was a joke.

“The president himself has the responsibility to create unity conditions, which he does not,” said Kyprianou, speaking on a visit to Dhali. He also said the ongoing tripartite meetings between Cyprus and regional countries were “without substance”.

On Monday Anastasiades, speaking during events to mark Greek Independence Day, said no struggle could succeed without unity. The day, he said, was a reminder that “people who stand by their principles, values, tradition and civilization, regardless of the difficult conditions under which they may live, acting united, can achieve what constitutes today, modern Greece.”

Therefore, the most important lesson derived by both the Greek revolt of 1821 and the 1955 Cypriot Eoka struggle against British colonial rule was unity, Anastasiades said.

“I don’t see why there should be any disagreements or why we cannot reach common ground as to the ways to achieve this goal,” he added.

Kyprianou responded saying Akel was in fact very lenient in its criticism of the government considering.

“As for the appeal for unity, it’s a joke,” he added.

“Over the past years, the president has done whatever he wanted [on the Cyprus issue] without taking the views of anyone else into consideration while flirting with the idea of two states. He spoke to hundreds of people about this idea and he promoted his proposal for a decentralised federation, something which he has not explained and suddenly, he has remembered the word ‘unity’”.

Kyprianou said unity could only be built on the basis of a specific framework of positions on the Cyprus issue based on the decisions of the National Council and a minimum of mutual respect and mutual understanding.

On the tripartite meetings Cyprus organises with neighbours Greece, Israel and Egypt, with some participation by the US, Kyprianou said the meetings should have specific goals, “which each time would bring us, not only a step closer to the solution of the Cyprus problem, but also to transform our country into a bridge of cooperation in the wider region”.

The latest tripartite in Israel a week ago, as well as the previous ones “do not serve either of these two important objectives, but rather causes more friction,” Kyprianou said.

He said US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had gone to Israel as a show of support for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and that the comment in the joint declaration about defending against external actors was not aimed at Turkey.

“It is regrettable that the government is trying to use everything as a PR tool to mislead public opinion and make believe that all this is work of substance,” he said.

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