Akinci and Anastasiades to meet later this month

Anastasiades had said last week that he had asked Akinci for a casual meeting

President Nicos Anastasiades on Friday announced he is to have a casual meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci later in the month.

The announcement came after his meeting at the Presidential Palace with the UN Secretary-General’s envoy in Cyprus Elizabeth Spehar.

The meeting will be without an agenda, he said, as neither him or Akinci want to give the impression that the dialogue is being relaunched “without proper preparation or knowing which issues to discuss”.

“We will simply – as leaders of the two communities – exchange thoughts, concerns on our prospect, our future and how we can find the way so that the sought-after solution is functional, viable and provides prospects to the entire Cypriot people,” Anastasiades said.

He said that Spehar conveyed to him that Akinci is eyeing positively his proposal for a meeting, which will be arranged by the UN within the coming days, after his return next week from Brussels.

Anastasiades had said last week that he had asked Akinci for a casual meeting when the latter had called him on his birthday but that Akinci turned down the invitation.

“The reply was that he did not want to give the impression that the talks were being relaunched,” Anastasiades had said.

Following reactions and concerns raised as to whether the government would shift its policy on the Cyprus problem after the president expressed his idea of a loose federation to the National Council on Monday, Foreign Minister, Nicos Christodoulides, has been giving reassurances that this would concern only the powers of the central government.

Christodoulides shot down all claims that Anastasiades was toying with the idea of a confederation.

“I am surprised by the reactions, we are not discussing changing the basis of a bizonal bicommunal federation,” Christodoulides told Politis radio on Friday.

To have a confederation, he said, the Republic of Cyprus must recognise the ‘Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus’. “There is no such issue, not even as a thought,” Christodoulides said.

No Greek Cypriot politician could ever do this, he said, adding that Anastasiades had expressed this idea before the National Council, as “food for thought”, as, it could be a way out of the deadlock as regards the talks.

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