Akel leader Andros Kyprianou on Sunday urged President Nicos Anastasiades not to go down in history as the “president of division”.
Kyprianou made the comment in a speech to mark the anniversary of the deaths of Akel members Dervis Ali Kavazoglou and Kostas Misiaoulis who were shot to death on April 11, 1965 by the ultra-right Turkish Cypriot terrorist organisation TMT whose members ambushed them on the Nicosia-Larnaca road. The two men are held up as symbols of rapprochement during a troubled period in Cyprus’ modern history.
The Akel leader said that marking the murders annually was a reminder of “how deadly the poison of nationalism is” and how it was urgent the sides work together now “before it’s too late”.
“Nationalism in both communities eliminated what united Greek and Turkish Cypriots,” he said. “Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots can and should rule jointly in Cyprus under fair conditions. This is a reminder to all those who find it difficult to understand the importance of political equality, let alone accept the idea.”
He was referring indirectly to Anastasiades’ reluctance to accept the political equality of the Turkish Cypriots in the Cyprus negotiations.
“Mr Anastasiades must realise the weight of responsibility he has. Will he do what it takes so as not to go down in history as the president of division?” said Kyprianou.
“Will he show determination? Will he take initiatives? Will he act so that it is clear to all that it is the Greek Cypriot side that has consistently sought to solve the problem? Will he take the initiative to negate Turkey’s position for a two-state solution and not leave open the door open for these ideas to be brought to the table?” he added, referring to Anastasiades’ mooting of a more decentralised federation.