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Akinci accused of ‘distorting facts’ on failed talks

Cyprus Government Spokesman Nikos Christodoulides has accused Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci of “distorting the facts” as the fallout from the failed peace talks earlier this month continues to linger on.

In a written statement by the Presidential Palace, issued in response claims made on Thursday by Akinci, Christodoulides accused the Turkish Cypriot leader of making “distorted and untrue references” in an attempt to lay the blame on Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and the Greek Cypriot community with regards to the failed talks in the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana.

“It is obvious that the Turkish Cypriot leader is attempting to justify the Turkish intransigent positions – including his own demands – for the continuation of the Treaty of Guarantees, the intervention rights and the permanent presence of Turkish troops in Cyprus.

“The unclear position of the Turkish side on territorial adjustments with the return of part of the Turkish occupied town of Morphou and without the return of the Maronite villages – contrary to the will of their inhabitants – is part of the same framework.”

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“We do not wish to comment on the role or the non-existence of a role of Mr Akinci in what happened during the crucial negotiations in Crans Montana. It would be preferable if Mr Akinci, rather than making such unsubstantiated references, to reflect on whether his stance helps the Turkish Cypriot community, and on how he really safeguards the future of the Turkish Cypriots with approaches that are fully in line with those of Turkey.”

The negotiations between Anastasiades and Akinci broke down in the Swiss resort on July 7 after the United Nations failed to broker a compromise deal on a new security arrangement for a post-solution Cyprus.

Greece wanted to end the right of intervention on Cyprus it holds with Britain and Turkey, while Nicosia was also pushing for a withdrawal of Turkish troops on the Mediterranean island and EU member state.

The talks in Switzerland failed to overcome these obstacles, leaving an UN-led push that ran for more than two years – the latest in a long list of aborted bids to find an elusive settlement – in limbo.

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