Former president Nicos Anastasiades may be under the illusion that by speaking out in public he is protecting his legacy and the way his ten years in office would be judged, but in effect he is wrecking the last few shreds of credibility he may still have, among his supporters. As for the rest of the population, we doubt it will be swayed by Anastasiades’ occasional public outbursts and attempts to present himself as the only source of truth and a paragon of honesty. Nobody, however, publicly backs what he says now, raising questions about the veracity of his claims.

At the end of last month the former negotiator, Andreas Mavroyiannis, speaking on the Legal Matters podcast, said that during the talks in Crans Montana in 2017 Anastasiades had brought up the idea of a two-state solution at a private meeting with Turkey’s foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu. The claim had been made by Cavusoglu several years earlier, but Anastasiades denied there had ever been such a conversation even though he had pushed this idea in meetings in Cyprus as well. He did so at a meeting with the late Archbhishop Chrysostomos, who subsequently spoke publicly about it.

Anastasiades’ response was that Chrysostomos had misunderstood what he had said. After his passing, Anastasades disingenuously claimed the archbishop’s understanding was impaired because of the strong medication he was taking at the time. The funny thing was that he had shared this idea at other meetings, but he was still the president and nobody wanted to expose him. With Mavroyiannis now revealing that he had been told by Anastasiades of the conversation with Cavusoglu about two states, the former president’s narrative has been completely shattered. He could not claim Mavroyiannis was a liar or that his understanding was impaired.

Former Disy leader Averof Neophytou also called on Anastasiades to come clean about what he had discussed with Cavusoglu in New York in 2018. This was part of a broader row between the two, but the former president insisted, quite incredulously, that “I have never discussed a two-state solution with anyone,” claiming that what he had discussed, “because I saw it as the only viable and sustainable solution was decentralised powers.” The premise that nobody is telling the truth except Anastasiades – according to Anastasiades – is difficult for anyone to swallow but the former president believes he cannot let it go.

The reason is that if he does, he will go down in history as the Cyprus president who chose permanent partition and openly communicated his choice to Turkey. All this while he was promoting the narrative that he was negotiating in good faith for the reunification of the island in Crans Montana. It is becoming apparent that he was doing nothing of the sort and had been misleading Greek Cypriots all along. And only way to sustain this deception is to insist that he never “discussed the two-state solution.” If anyone still believes him, is another matter.