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Cyprus

Talat says Anastasiades called Berlin meeting ‘in vain’ and a waste of money (Update 2)

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President Nicos Anastasiades will convene the national council on Wednesday ahead of his meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci and the UN Secretary-General in Berlin on November 25, the presidency announced on Friday.

In the meantime, reports on Friday said that Anastasiades told former Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat the tripartite meeting in Berlin would be in vain and that the trip would be a waste of money.

According to media reports in the north, Talat said during a television show on Kanal T that he had met Anastasiades during a reception last week. To Talat’s query whether there might be progress at the tripartite, Anastasiades reportedly replied that this would be an informal meeting. “What do you expect from this meeting? We are going there in vain… waste of money,” Anastasiades reportedly said.

Government Spokesman Prodromos Prodromou said he would not comment on media reports on the matter.

“What I do wish to reiterate is that the president is also now, as he has been for some time now, completely ready and willing for the Berlin meeting,” he told the Cyprus News Agency. He said it was the government’s wish for the necessary consultations to take place for an agreement on the terms of reference and for the talks to restart.

CNA, citing diplomatic sources reported that Nicosia seems to be holding a small basket ahead of the tripartite due to messages coming in on the intentions of the Turkish side.

The same sources said that Nicosia was optimistic but also reserved about the outcome following information from diplomatic sources in New York and some European capitals since it seems Turkey does not want a tripartite meeting and aims at a five-party meeting with the guarantor powers after elections in the north next April.

The tripartite is taking place basically because it has been scheduled, the sources said.

Earlier in the day, Anastasiades said the tripartite meeting could yield results if the Turkish side displayed the same determination and willingness as the Greek Cypriots.

On November 16, Anastasiades will hold talks with UN special envoy Jane Holl Lute in preparation for the tripartite.

“If the other side has the same determination and political will we have, the meeting can yield results,” the president said.

Asked whether there was any cooperation by Ankara, the president said he wanted first to brief the national council over the information they had and if necessary, there will be public statements.

 

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