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Anastasiades, Malas in Debate Wrangle Over Failed Cyprus Unity Talks

February 2, 2018

NICOSIA – In a debate with his challenger in the Feb. 4 runoff election, Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades defended his handling of unity talks with the Turkish-Cypriot side that collapsed last year and that he would reveal his secret proposal on agreeing to let a Turk be President of the island on a rotating basis.

Anastasiades said his rival, the Communist-backed Stavros Malas, whom he beat in the 2013 elections, was getting inaccurate information on the negotiations with Turkish-Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci that fell apart at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana.

With Malas saying an opportunity to bring the island together almost 44 years after an unlawful Turkish invasion was missed, Anastasiades said it was Turkish insistence on keeping an army in the northern third it occupies and the right to military intervene which brought down the talks.

The President said it was the first time the Cypriot side succeeded in putting on the table the abolition of the security guarantees from Turkey, the United Kingdom and Greece and engage the international community and the European Union, the Cyprus Mail said.

Malas said Anastasiades missed a chance to discuss an informal document tabled during a dinner at the resort from United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres outlining a mechanism for a solution.

Malas said that he would not agree to a settlement solution that would leave Turkish troops on the island, did not abolish guarantees and did not allow the return of Morphou and that he, too, would be willing to consider a rotating Presidency if it included cross-voting.

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