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Anastasiades chats briefly with Erdogan in Prague

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President Nicos Anastasiades bumped into Tayyip Erdogan in Prague (Photo: TRT World)

President Nicos Anastasiades on Thursday told Turkish leader Tayyip Erdogan the Cyprus problem needs to be solved and efforts made to revive stalled peace talks.

The two chatted briefly on the sidelines of a European summit in Prague, amid a backdrop of increasingly bellicose rhetoric from Turkey directed at Greece and Cyprus over maritime jurisdictions in the eastern Mediterranean.

As reported by the Cyprus News Agency (CNA), after the initial pleasantries Anastasiades stressed to Erdogan the two sides should resume talks on the decades-long political division of Cyprus.

The Turkish leader reportedly agreed in principle, but added this was not the ‘right time’ to discuss the issue.

According to CNA, although both men took part in discussions at the European Political Community summit, they sat in on different panels.

The 44 leaders attending the summit participated in groups of 11 on two panels on the theme of peace and security, and on two panels on the economy, energy and climate change.

The European Political Community is a platform for political and strategic discussions about the future of Europe, proposed by French president Emmanuel Macron in May 2022. It is meeting for the first time. The platform includes countries such as the UK, Iceland, Ukraine, Moldova, Turkey, Georgia and Armenia.

During remarks delivered at the summit, Anastasiades referred to the Cyprus issue and Turkey’s continuing threats against Nicosia and Athens.

He called on the international community to ‘react’ to growing Turkish provocations, observing that unfortunately double standards seemed to apply vis a vis Ankara’s conduct.

The president stressed that the countries of the European continent can play a part in maintaining stability, security and peace in the region.

Anastasiades also spoke of similarities between the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and the events in Cyprus prior to and in the aftermath of the Turkish invasion in 1974.

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