Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades has expressed his regret over Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci`s decision not to attend their meeting on February 23, in the framework of their UN-led negotiations on the Cyprus problem, and his readiness to continue the dialogue at any moment.
In a post on twitter, Anastasiades said: “I feel regret about Akinci`s decision not to attend the meeting tomorrow. I am ready to continue the dialogue at any moment.”
The Cyprus government announced on Wednesday that it was informed by the UN that due to Turkish Cypriot leader`s refusal to attend, the meeting between Anastasiades and Akinci will not take place.
The Turkish Cypriot leader walked out of a meeting last week, in the framework of the UN-backed negotiations on the Cyprus problem, shortly after it began, because the Cypriot Parliament took a decision to commemorate in schools, by form of a reference, the 1950 referendum, favouring “enosis”, union with Greece. Although President Anastasiades has stressed that the decision does not in any way mean a change of policy on the solution and in spite of the fact that the National Council issued a statement reiterating this, Akinci demands withdrawal of the House decision.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Anastasiades and Akinci have been engaged in UN-backed talks since May 2015 with an aim to reunify the island under a federal roof.