NEWS

DIKO chief reelected, hits back

The president of Cyprus, Tassos Papadopoulos, was reelected as leader of the centrist Democratic Party (DIKO) on Saturday and immediately hit back at critics who argued he was too inactive in seeking a solution to the division of the island. He told DIKO delegates that Nicosia had been involved in secret talks with two unnamed «friendly» countries for three months in an effort to set up negotiations with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Papadopoulos admitted that the effort had failed but he had intentionally kept it secret to increase the chances of a successful outcome. The DIKO leader said that the Cyprus problem could not be solved through front-page newspaper articles, while also attacking Greek-Cypriots calling for a meeting between Papadopoulos and Turkish-Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat. «We are downgrading the Cyprus issue from a matter of an invasion to one of a dispute between two communities,» he said. Papadopoulos, 71, who has been president of Cyprus for the last two years and head of DIKO since 2000, was unopposed in Saturday’s vote.