LIMASSOL – Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades said he will blame Turkey for the collapse of unity talks when he meets with United Nations Secretary-General Antoni Guterres in New York.
Turkish-Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, angry that the negotiations so far haven’t led to concessions that Turkey be allowed to keep its army on the island and the right to militarily intervene, walked away from the table in anger over the Cypriot Parliament approving commemoration of a 1950 referendum seeking Enosis, or unity with Greece.
Anastasiades said that was a pretext and that he’s willing to resume talking if Akinci is but so far there’s no response from the Turkish side.
Speaking to reporters in Limassol, the President said, “I will expound on the absolute will of the Greek Cypriot side to continue a dialogue, which was interrupted without its fault,” adding that he no longer wants the guarantors of security – Turkey, Greece and the United Kingdom – to keep that role on the island which is also patrolled by UN forces on the dividing line in the capital of Nicosia. “The aim of my visit (to the UN) is to reiterate my will for, as well as the framework, within which a solution should be placed if we want it to be viable, functional and of course to be accepted by the people,” Anastasiades said, the Cyprus Mail reported.
Replying to a question as to whether he thinks Akinci will return to the negotiating table, the President said “do you expect me to answer on behalf of Mr Akinci? I hope (he will do so).”
The meeting with Guterres will be part of a trip to the United States, where Anastasiades will address an investment conference. The President was due to leave the night of April 19, accompanied government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides and will attend a dinner in his honor hosted by Cypriot expatriates in the US.
On March 21, Anastasiades will mark the end of the trading day at the New York stock exchange and is scheduled to meet Guterres on March 22 along with Archbishop Demetrios of America, before addressing the international Invest in Cyprus conference at the Metropolitan Club.
The forum is organized by Capital Link, in cooperation with the Cypriot association of ship-owners, the Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency, and the commercial chambers of Cyprus and USA.