Cyprus Problem

President Akinci’s statement on

Russian FM Lavrov’s Visit

The President’s office has said that Russia was not “following the principle of equality” with the refusal by its Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to cross to the TRNC for a meeting when he visits the island next Wednesday.

Baris Burcu

In response, President Mustafa Akıncı has refused to join Lavrov and the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades for lunch at a venue in the buffer zone, Presidential spokesman Barış Burcu said in a written statement issued yesterday.

The Russian foreign minister “did not follow the principle of equality”, he said – that is, he was not going to meet Akıncı before the lunch like he is scheduled to do with Anastasiades.

Sergey Lavrov
Russian FM Sergey Lavrov

Lavrov is due to pay a working visit to Cyprus next Tuesday to discuss the Cyprus problem and the Syrian conflict.

The Russian diplomat is due to meet the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades and his Greek Cypriot counterpart Ioannis Kasoulides.

Burcu said the Turkish Cypriot side was intensifying efforts to find a solution based on political equality and had increased diplomatic contacts and Russia had not shown “sensitivity” to this, unlike other foreign officials such as the British Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond, the German Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier, the President of the EU Council Donald Tusk and the President of the EU Commission Jean-Claude Junker, who had all visited Akıncı at the Presidential Palace.

TRNC President Akinci and RoC President Anastasiades

“We conveyed our sincere thanks to the Russian Foreign Ministry for the invitation and expressed our desire to attend. However we also informed the Russian officials that Mr. Akıncı would be unable to attend unless Mr. Lavrov meets with him as he will with Mr. Anastasiadis. We were informed on Thursday the 26th of November that Mr. Lavrov would not be crossing over to the TRNC to meet with Mr. Akıncı” Burcu said in his statement.

Earlier yesterday Russian foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said such a meeting could be interpreted as official recognition of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus by Russia.

US Secretary of State, John Kerry who will be arriving on the island on Thursday, will be received at the President’s office in Lefkoşa.

Source: BRT World News