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  HOME PAGE 23/03/2017 23:09 
16.02.2017 19:28 News >> Update - Greek Cypriot Leader Walks Out Of Talks

Update - Greek Cypriot Leader Walks Out Of Talks

Cyprus peace talks came to a sudden halt on Thursday after an apparent walkout by Greek Cypriot leader Nikos Anastasiades.

Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Mustafa Akinci said Thursday's unification talks ended abruptly when Anastasiades angrily walked out of the room.

Speaking to reporters following his meeting with the Greek Cypriot leader -- hosted by the UN in Lefkosa -- Akinci said:

"After Anastasiades finished his speech, the UN adviser on Cyprus [Espen Barth] Eide took the floor to summarize the issue. The Greek Cypriot leader angrily said: 'I have nothing to say' and slammed the door. There was nothing left to do at that point."

Akinci said Anastasiades had behaved impulsively in the past. The Turkish Cypriot leader also said respect was key to sustaining the discussions.

"It was not possible to tolerate it. The most important condition to sustain that meeting is to show respect to the people in the meeting," Akinci said, adding that the Greek Cypriot leader was "free to reopen the slammed door".

"The door is open when they [Greek side] fix the situation created by themselves," Akinci added and said the two communities of Cyprus expected the Greek administration to find a solution.

-Enosis divisions

Last Friday, the Greek Cypriot parliament voted to introduce a yearly public school commemoration of a 1950 referendum in which Greek Cypriots voted overwhelmingly for Athens to take over the island.

On Monday, Mustafa Akinci had asked Espen Barth Eide to urge Anastasiades not to approve the Enosis decision. Talks on Tuesday were cancelled amid disagreements on the Enosis move.

Akinci said he brought up the Enosis commemoration issue during Thursday's meeting.

"Instead of listening to us," Akinci said, "Anastasiades came with a five-page document prepared in advance."

Akinci identified the Enosis commemoration idea and the events it created as the most important reason behind Cyprus's tragic history.

"It is already known that this incident is already part of the Greek education system and it is included in the curriculum," Akinci said, "But it is far more different to consider it as an event to be celebrated and included in the list of events to be commemorated."

The eastern Mediterranean island was divided into a Turkish Cypriot state in the north and a Greek Cypriot administration in the south after a 1974 military coup was followed by the intervention of Turkey as a guarantor power.

Cypriot issues remain unsolved despite a series of discussions which resumed in May 2015.

The main goal is to find a political solution as the sides seek to reunify the island under a federal system after more than 40 years of division.

Cyprus' three guarantors -- Turkey, Greece and the United Kingdom -- were assigned when it gained independence from Britain in 1960. -



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