The government on Thursday conveyed its strong annoyance with opposition Disy leader Annita Demetriou over a scathing letter she sent the president concerning the Cyprus issue and the fatigue of the international community.

What particularly rankled the government was the fact that Demetriou’s letter was given to the media, but also the timing of the move.

“The fact that the leader of Disy chose to make the letter public while the president was overseas and did not have a chance to read it, says a lot about the degree of respect and desire for cooperation,” government spokesman Konstantinos Letymbiotis said sarcastically.

In addition, none of the views featuring in Demetriou’s letter had been mentioned at the National Council, the spokesman said – implying that the Disy leader had sprung a surprise on the government.

Worse still, said the spokesman, the views expressed by Demetriou give adversaries Turkey ammunition for its own arguments.

“So rather than boosting Turkey’s arguments, let them [Disy] ponder whether it was worth it for the sake of ulterior political motives,” he noted, evidently implying that Demetriou had tried to score cheap political points.

For his part, speaking at a memorial for the 13 people killed during the Mari explosion of 2011, President Nikos Christodoulides said he would not comment immediately as he was attending a memorial service, but he was preparing a response.

“Of course I will answer, as I answer all letters by members of the National Council,” he said.

According to the president, he read the letter while abroad in Athens on Wednesday, through the media.

The only reference he made to the letter was that “thankfully” the National Council writes minutes and there are more than two members. The council consists of party leaders and former presidents and meets periodically on the Cyprus issue. It last met last week.

In her rebuttal, Demetriou also spoke at the Mari memorial saying: “Citizens need to know the positions of the parties.

“Since Friday was the National Council, I personally informed the President of the Republic that we would send, as we did last time as Disy, our positions,” Demetriou said.

“I believe that within the framework of transparency, at the same time as the letter by hand and by email, I have made it public because we have reached this point where we need to let the citizens know.”

She added that “we are ready to contribute constructively, and the issues are not personal and should not be taken that way. We are responsible political beings, we represent political spaces, and we must position ourselves responsibly. At least, my logic dictates that,” she said.

In a letter on Wednesday, Demetriou was particularly scathing of Christodoulides’ handling of the Cyprus problem, saying the international community is inching closer towards giving up on hopes of solving the issue on the basis of a bizonal, bicommunal federation (BBF).

She cautioned that clashes with UN officials “and casting doubts over the objectivity of the UNSG reports” serves no purpose and undermines the Greek Cypriot side.

After seven years of a complete standstill [over talks] and Turkey’s imposition of new and dangerous fait accompli, the Greek Cypriot side does not have the luxury to dismiss or ignore any suggestion by the UN without offering a satisfactory counterproposal,” she said.

Demetriou called on the president to publicly and personally reject proposals put before the National Council that reach the public eye which refer to rejecting a BBF, political equality or closing checkpoints.

“Such proposals, particularly by parties participating in your government, offer up an alibi for Turkish propaganda.

They expose us to the EU and international community.”

Lastly, she said the resumption of the Turkey-EU High Level Dialogue would be necessary for Turkey’s internal agenda and requires the consent of the Republic.

Demetriou proposed Cyprus publicly expresses its intention to do so, provided negotiations resume.