House President Annita Demetriou will “send a message” to Azerbaijan over its plans to create an ‘inter-parliamentary’ group with the north’s parliament, she said on Friday.

Speaking at a youth event, she said, “we have information that Azerbaijan intends to do something like this. We have to stop it.”

She added that she will pen a letter to her Azerbaijani counterpart, Sahiba Gafarova, to condemn the plans, and that she will also raise the matter during a meeting with other European Union parliament speakers next week in Spain.

“Unfortunately, this is not the first time Azerbaijan has made such an effort. We must once again do everything in our power to stop it. It is unacceptable and reprehensible,” she said.

She added that she will meet with Foreign Minister Constantinos Kombos to discuss the issue.

“After 50 years, this is our biggest concern, that some people think in some way that time can either solidify or justify such behaviour. No matter how many years pass, we are not going to accept anything like this,” she said.

With this in mind, she said, “we have to and want to support every effort to restart negotiations on the agreed framework, of a bizonal bicommunal federation with political equality. There is no other way. Otherwise, we will have to deal with things like this and worse every year.”

For this reason, she reiterated her calls for the National Council to be convened, saying “we are very concerned with what we see and the developments we have to manage every day.”

The creation of an ‘Azerbaijan-TRNC inter-parliamentary relations working group’ was announced on April 5, with Javanshir Feyziyev, former chair of the EU-Azerbaijan parliamentary cooperation committee, being elected as its chairman.

He described the group’s creation as a historic step, and said it was “mandatory” to do such a thing “to secure the future of Turkic civilisation and its place and role in the world order”.

Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar hailed the move, thanking Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev, Sabiha Gafarova, and all Azerbaijani MPs, and saying “the Turkic world is our family, we must strengthen our relations with the Turkic world.”

Aliyev said the group’s creation will “contribute to the strengthening of relations between Azerbaijan and the TRNC.”

While Azerbaijan does not officially recognise the north, it has often flirted with doing so, with Aliyev having gone on the record multiple times as having described Ersin Tatar as the “TRNC President.

He also invited Tatar to an upcoming summit of the Organisation of Turkic States (OTS) which will take place in the town of Shusha in Azerbaijan in July, saying the move will “accelerate the unity of the Turkic people”.

The Republic of Cyprus had expressed “disappointment and dissatisfaction” after Aliyev had once again described Tatar as the “TRNC President” in 2022.