The establishment of the National Security Council (NSC), which President Nikos Christodoulides believes would help him deal with security and strategy issues, was approved by the cabinet on Wednesday and on Thursday the man who will be in charge of it was also announced.

Retired ambassador Tasos Tzionis, was on Thursday appointed chief of the secret service Kyp, of which he had been head between 2003-08, and in this capacity will also run the NSC. A press report suggested that he will put together the NSC. The same report said Tzionis had submitted a study on the operation of the council to the president last month.

This seemed peculiar, considering that when the national council had met in March, Christodoulides had sought the views of the party leaders about setting up the NSC and asked them to submit proposals in writing. Did anyone at the presidential palace even look at the proposals of the parties? Was there any debate among the party leaders, as the president claimed there would have been?

It appears not. In an announcement on Thursday, Akel said the president decided he would not discuss the views submitted by the party about the setting up of a NSC and “decided to proceed without any consultations.” Disy’s statement said that its views, which were sent in writing to the president, had not been adopted, noting that for such an important issue there should have been more collective decision-making.

Saying one thing and doing something different appears to be the style of Christodoulides. What was the point of consulting the party leaders about the NSC and asking for their views when there was no intention to use these, the responsibility for drafting its mode of operation having been given to Tzionis? The funny thing is that there was no need for this theatre because it is the prerogative of the president to set up an advisory body, without consulting anyone.

Nicos Anastasiades had set up two advisory bodies – one for economic issues and one for strategic planning – without consulting anyone, and never used either. The difference could be that Christodoulides actually plans to make use of the NSC, which everyone knows will be a vehicle through which Tzionis will be able to offer advice to the president. Of course, having a committed rejectionist as an advisor, undermines the president’s assertions that a Cyprus settlement is his number one priority.

What advice would the ideologue of rejectionism give a president who is allegedly determined to secure a settlement? It is the prerogative of the president to appoint whomever he chooses, but his choices give away his real intentions.