Cyprus leaders’ meeting postponed until next week

Cyprus leaders’ meeting postponed until next week

Cyprus leaders’ meeting postponed until next week

AA Photo

A first meeting between Mustafa Akıncı, the new Turkish Cypriot leader of northern Cyprus, and Greek Cypriot leader Nikos Anastasiades has been put off from May 2 until next week, the Greek Cypriot government said April 29.

Akıncı, a moderate leftist, swept to power in a presidential election in northern Cyprus last weekend on a promise to revive stalled peace talks on the island, which was split in 1974 in a Turkish invasion triggered by a brief Greek-inspired coup. 

Two days later, Anastasiades said he would introduce unilateral confidence-building measures to boost the negotiations, which have been stalled for seven months. 

A government official gave no reason for the postponement, but said the meeting would now take place sometime next week, Reuters reported. 

Akıncı’s post began with a row with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan over the nature of the ties between Turkey and Turkish Cyprus, but a phone call between the pair defused the tensions, media reports said. 

“It was a call to congratulate [me on my election victory],” the Turkish Cypriot leader told Anadolu Agency on April 28, referring to his phone conversation with Erdoğan the previous day. “We briefly chatted because he was at the airport and was about to leave. He asked me whether I would go to Turkey for my first official visit [in accordance with state traditions]. Of course, I will be doing it,” Akıncı said.

“It should be a relationship of brothers/sisters, not a relationship of a motherland and her child,” Akıncı said in a live interview on April 27. 

“Do his ears hear what he says?” Erdoğan said in response during a press conference after being asked by a journalist if he approved of the statement.