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Cyprus

Anastasiades-Ozersay meeting comes to light, Akinci in the dark (update 2)

Kudret Ozersay

A meeting between President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot ‘Foreign Minister’ Kudret Ozersay without leader Mustafa Akinci knowing about it has caused a rift between the two Turkish Cypriot politicians, reports said on Tuesday.

Akinci’s spokesman Baris Burcu said in a written statement on Tuesday that ‘Prime Minister’ Ersin Tatar confirmed that Ozersay had a meeting with Anastasiades.

The meeting reportedly took place on June 4, though it remains unclear where it took place.

Burcu said Tatar confirmed the meeting after Akinci called him to enquire whether this was true following claims that such a meeting had taken place.

Responding to the fuss, Ozersay said on Tuesday evening that the meeting was an informal social gathering that was also attended by his and Anastasiades’ spouses.

Ozersay said that such a gathering is normal, as he and Anastasiades have been acquaintances for years, and have worked together on the negotiating table.

“The fact that no information was given by the foreign minister before or after this meeting is in direction violation of state practice. It all falls against values of political ethics,” Burcu said.

He recalled that Akinci regularly informs all competent state institutions on all official and unofficial meetings held with the Greek Cypriot leadership as well as his foreign interlocutors.

“The unacceptable stance of the foreign minister who has lately adopted a habit of not informing the president of the contacts he is holding is greatly disappointing,” Burcu said.

Dismissing these claims, Ozersay asserting that even though the meeting was not a secret, he did not feel obligated to inform Akinci as he was also not kept informed regarding meetings held by Akinci in the past, such as the meeting he held with Akel leader Andros Kyprianou.

Former presidential candidate and minister Stavros Malas tweeted “as the Turkish drillship is in the Cyprus EEZ, what exactly did the president secretly want to discuss with Ozersay, who is appointed by Turkey and a proponent of a two-state solution? Could it be what the president began discussing with Turkey in 2017, after Crans-Montana? That is, a two-state solution?”

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