Cypriot party leader meets EU Ambassadors in Ankara
by Maria Myles
Ankara, 11 Feb (CNA) -- The Cyprus problem, the concerns and expectations of the Greek Cypriots as well as the goals of a visit to Turkey by the main opposition party in Cyprus, the rightwing Democratic Rally (DISI), were the focus of discussions at a meeting today between a DISI delegation and ambassadors of European Union members here.
Speaking to Greek Cypriot journalists covering the visit, DISI leader Nikos Anastasiades said EU ambassadors expressed concern about the current stalemate in Cyprus and stressed the need for dialogue as a means of resolving problems.
The four-member DISI delegation is visiting Istanbul and Ankara at the invitation of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK) of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Both parties are members of the European People’s Party, DISI as a full member and AK party as an observer.
Noting that today’s meeting took place at the initiative of the Dutch ambassador, representing current EU president Luxembourg, Anastasiades said “we had a wide-ranging discussion on the question of Cyprus, the goals of our visit here.”
“The core of our discussion related mainly to the concerns and the worries that trouble the Greek Cypriots,” he said, adding that he had the chance to outline in detail the concerns and the expectations of the Greek Cypriot side.
“We put forward the positions of the Greek Cypriot side and I believe it is important that we are talking about the EU ambassadors accredited in Ankara who were interested in being informed about our views.”
Asked by CNA on the assessment of the situation in Cyprus expressed by EU ambassadors, at the meeting, Anastasiades said that they congratulated DISI on the initiatives it undertakes.
“Being European citizens, they believe that through dialogue we can achieve mutual understanding and there can be progress but also express concern about what happens next because of the current stalemate in efforts to solve the problem,” he added.
Present at the meeting were 22 EU ambassadors or their representatives. The three EU members that were not represented at the meeting were Luxembourg, Latvia and Cyprus which have no diplomatic representation here. Turkey does not recognise the Republic of Cyprus, hence there is no Cyprus embassy here.
DISI delegation comprises, apart from the party leader, Acting President Averof Neofytou, Vice-President Sokratis Xasikos and Press Spokesman Tasos Mitsopoulos.