Presidents Akinci and Anastasiades came under fire from Marinos Sizopoulos, the leader of Greek Cypriot minority party EDEK.
Speaking at a dinner in London on Saturday night, CNA reports that President Akinci, following his meeting with President Anastasiades on Friday, accused the EDEK leader of attempting to undermine the negotiations. Sizopoulos had caused a stir by publicising sections of the minutes of a National Council meeting. The details of which outlined certain convergences between the two leaders.
Akinci reiterated his commitment to keep efforts going to achieve a solution to the Cyprus problem, without the negative influence of developments away from the negotiating table. “I am sure you understand why I say this,” Akinci said.
“On the Greek Cypriot side, the latest statements by EDEK leader Marinos Sizopoulos do not contribute to the ongoing negotiations. Why Mr Sizopoulos acted this way is understandable,” Akinci said. “This is a party that has denounced the bi-zonal, bi-communal federation.” He said none of the MPs in the North would have acted in the way that the EDEK leader had done, which was an attempt to undermine Anastasiades and his party, as well as the parties that supported a settlement, in the upcoming election parliamentary elections.
However, Sizopoulos remains unapologetic and has promised to disclose whatever he feels necessary to keep the public informed. President Anastasiades on Wednesday 9 March, slammed Sizopoulos for what he called “cherry picking” parts of the National Council minutes to publish, in an attempt to undermine the Cyprus negotiations.
Referring to the Turkish Cypriot President’s comments, Sizopoulos said: “Thank you Mr. Akinci for your statements yesterday where you essentially confirmed the correctness and objectivity of what I said last Wednesday.”
Akinci, he said, had hardened his stance of late. Sizopoulos said he would continue to inform the public “responsibly and objectively” because they needed to know, and it had nothing to do with scoring election points, he added.
“We need the people to know the content of the solution so they have the time to study it. People will be constantly updated, at least on what has been agreed. Otherwise I fear that there will be some attempt to reach agreement behind the backs of the people. The experience of 2004 should not be repeated,” he added referring to the Annan plan, which had been agreed in March 2004 for a referendum one month later.
He then went on to accuse President Anastasiades of selling out his country. No one has reacted because he was doing it behind their backs, he alleged.