NICOSIA – His two terms of 10 years will end in February, 2023 with elections to choose his successor but Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades said he will work until the last day on trying to bring together the island split by 1974 Turkish invasions.
“I will continue until the end of my mandate to put forward creative proposals that in the first phase will reduce the gap between the two sides and allow for the existence of conditions for healthy dialogue. This is the aim of my proposals for Confidence Building Measures, which I submitted, unfortunately without a positive response from the other side,” told the political magazine Politikoi.
Hope was raised after the Turkish-Cypriot side when a moderate, Mustafa Akinci, was elected in 2020, replacing a hardliner, but no solution was found and talks essentially ended after collapsing in July 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana.
That came after Akinci and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that a 35,000-strong army would never leave the occupied northern third that no other country in the world accepts and their demand to invade further.
Akinci was replaced by an ultra-nationalist, Ersin Tatar, in October 2020 who said he doesn’t want reunification but for the United Nations to recognize the isolated, occupied territory, which was rebuffed.
He said even as talks collapsed in Cans Montana he declared the will to resume dialogue. “What was missing was Turkey’s political will,” he said – with Turkey blaming him for intransigence in a stand-off.