NEWS

Akinci remarks rankle Nicosia

VASSILIS NEDOS

TAGS: Cyprus, Diplomacy, Politics

Nicosia insisted on Tuesday that the Republic of Cyprus will not be dissolved to make way for a federation with constituent Greek and Turkish states, and that the multilateral summit in Geneva, slated for January 12, that will seek to seal a reunification deal must include the participation of the permanent members of the UN Security Council to ensure its successful outcome.

In response to comments made earlier in the day by Turkish-Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci that a federal Cyprus and not the existing Republic will sign a reunification deal, Cyprus government spokesman Nikos Christodoulides said the very essence of the negotiations is to find the way to evolve the internal structure of the Republic of Cyprus into a unified federal state.

Christodoulides also dismissed Akinci’s assertion that the presence of the five permanent members “is not needed” at the Geneva summit.

“If we want to reach a positive result then we cannot but support the participation of the five permanent members of the Security Council and the European Union,” Christodoulides said.

Akinci’s remarks came on the heels of comments made by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in a phone call to Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades, which backed the key Greek-Cypriot demand for the scrapping of the “anachronistic” system of third-party guarantees.

Lavrov reportedly said Moscow believes that the Security Council could play an important role in a post-settlement transition phase.

Anastasides arrives in Athens on Friday for talks with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, whose aides are in contact with Turkish officials in a bid to set up a meeting with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan before the summit.

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