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Anastasiades: Archbishop must have misunderstood two-state solution comments, Akel says president lying (Updated)

File photo: President Nicos Anastasiades and Archbishop Chrysostomos

The Greek Cypriot side has not changed its position as regards a solution to the Cyprus issue, the president said on Sunday in response to a comment by the Archbishop that Nicos Anastasaides had spoken to him of a two-state solution.

Similar claims have been made by the Turkish side since the collapse of the last round of Cyprus talks in Crans-Montana in 2017. Opposition Akel believes the same. The president has repeatedly denied that the Greek Cypriot side was open to a two-state solution.

Anastasiades was prompted repeat his position again on Sunday in a written announcement after an interview Archbishop Chrysostomos had with Politis where the Church leader said the president had spoken of a two-state solution in a meeting they had “but then changed his mind”.

In his response, Anastasiades said that in the wake of Crans-Montana, he had meetings with many people, including the Archbishop. The meetings were held to explain why the Swiss talks had failed and that it was due to Turkey’s insistence on various issues that would have proved negative for the Greek Cypriot side.

The president said that during his meeting with the Archbishop, he explained to him the reasons for the failure in Switzerland, and analysed Turkey’s ultimate aims and they had both agreed that a two-state solution could not be accepted “as this would jeopardise the security of the Greek Cypriots and would not have been accepted by the UN and the EU”.

Anastasiades said he regretted if the Archbishop had understood otherwise. The Church leader would also understand that from all subsequent meetings they had, he should have realised there was no such notion as a two-state solution.

He also said he has been persistent and consistent on this in all positions he has forwarded to the UN since 2017 and that any new talks should pick up where they left off in Crans-Montana.

In a statement later on Sunday Akel said the Archbishop’s statement confirms two things. One was that the president has been lying when he says he has never discussed a two-state solution and secondly “for the first time in history”,  not only did it cross the mind of a president, but he discussed with various people the donation of half of Cyprus to Turkey,” Akel said.

“The President’s attempt to answer does not convince anyone. Unless he means all this, the Archbishop and so many others who also mentioned that the president spoke to them about a two-state solution, just imagined it,” it added.

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