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Akel calls on president to explain negative comments over Berlin talks

Andros Kyprianou

Akel leader Andros Kyprianou said on Saturday that concerns over President Nicos Anastasiades’ stance on the Cyprus problem have intensified after it emerged that he had told the former Turkish Cypriot leader that the upcoming tripartite meeting with the UN secretary-general later this month was a waste of money.

“The government has an obligation to respond,” Kyprianou told reporters, adding that Talat’s comments were not just media reports. “The government has developed the perception that the best way of handling problems it creates with its stance is to ignore them until they go away.”

Kyprianou said the president ought to operate with full transparency so that the people will know whether what is said is real.

“Mr Talat’s statements intensify our worry about Mr Anastasiades’ stance.”

During a television show on Friday, former Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat said he spoke to Anastasiades during a reception last week and asked 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 said, according to Talat.

Government spokesman Prodromos Prodromou said he would not comment on media reports.

Kyprianou said ahead of an important meeting, both Turkey and the Greek Cypriot side were engaging in negative rhetoric.

He warned that not coming to an agreement to resume reunification talks would mean sliding further towards permanent partition.

“It is thus Mr Anastasiades’ responsibility not to get carried away by Turkey’s delay policy and to act in a positive and constructive way ahead of the tripartite meeting with the aim of getting results.”

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