Cyprus leader sees delay in talks as Ankara ‘controls’ Turkish Cypriots

Cyprus leader sees delay in talks as Ankara ‘controls’ Turkish Cypriots

A few days after the latest round of Cyprus peace talks stalled, President Nicos Anastasiades said on Friday that he believed Turkish-Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci would not return to the negotiating table before a constitutional referendum scheduled to be held in Turkey in April.

In comments to the English-language Cyprus Weekly and the Turkish-Cypriot Havadis Gazetesi, Anastasiades declared that Ankara controls the Turkish-Cypriot leadership “whether Akinci accepts it or not.”

Commenting on Turkish-Cypriot demand for a rotating presidency, Anastasiades questioned why the Turkish-Cypriot side insists on focusing on this issue rather than others such as territorial adjustments and the matter of foreign guarantees. This, he said, demonstrates the inability of the Turkish-Cypriot side to respond to the concerns of Greek Cypriots. He said the priority should be to resolve domestic issues before discussions begin on the international aspects of a solution, such as security.

Meanwhile, Anastasiades was on Friday mourning the death of Lio, his dog that was accidentally run over and killed by a member of the Cyprus Presidential Guard.

Lio had been given to Anastasiades by his daughters, Ino and Elsa, on the occasion of his winning the presidency. The dog was known to roam freely on the premises of the Presidential Palace before it got caught under one of the back wheels of the guard’s car.

In a Facebook post, Anastasiades bid farewell to the Yorkshire terrier, saying he had “lost a friend.”

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