As far as the meeting with the President of the Republic is concerned, it was held in a very frank atmosphere I have to say, and in a good climate in general. I briefed him about the discussion the delegation of AKEL had with Turkish Foreign Minister Mr. Cavusoglou and you understand that we also discussed other issues that are being discussed all through this period.
I have made it clear to the President that I will reply to what he said over the last two days, because I consider his statements as extremely insulting towards AKEL, especially when they have been made by Mr. Anastasiades who knows what the truth is. Mr. Anastasiades called on us – speaking of course in general – to put our homeland over petty interests. I will reply to him that AKEL has proved in practice that that is precisely how it acts, that it is a patriotic party, which relegates petty-party interests to a secondary place and our country’s interests above all else.
Despite the fact that they themselves did not behave correctly towards Demetris Christofias when he was President of the Republic of Cyprus, and I am referring to the national issue, I am not referring to anything else. Despite the fact that back then they were accusing him and negating positions that he had submitted at the negotiating table and which they subsequently came to adopt with the convergences that had been achieved with Mr. Akinci.
Despite all this, when Mr. Anastasiades began negotiating with a view to reaching a solution on the basis of a Bi-communal Bilateral Federation, AKEL selflessly supported the whole procedure, even though it had suffered political costs, precisely because it places our homeland over and above any petty interests and expediencies.
I will repeat that Mr. Anastasiades himself should reflect on how he himself operated and how he is acting today. I will simply tell him that when we were supporting precisely the same positions as we are doing today, he was calling us patriots, and today he is trying to give us lessons on patriotism and ethos. We don’t need any such lessons. I want to make that clear. I repeat, we have proven our patriotism in practice. And I will also say that we have not moved on our positions. We continue to support the same positions today as we were doing so back then. You should ask Mr. Anastasiades who is the one who has moved on his positions for him to say what he is telling us today.
The second thing I would like to mention is Mr. Anastasiades’ reference yesterday, as well as the references from time to time by the Presidential Palace and DISY officials, that AKEL has supposedly called on the President to make unacceptable concessions, particularly on the issues related to security and guarantees, and which have been reiterated by Mr. Anastasiades himself and others.
I will challenge him to say in public when did AKEL call on him to do so. And I will remind him that I put this question to him also at a meeting of the National Council, and he replied – and his reply is recorded in the minutes of the National Council. I remind him to say the same things that are recorded in these minutes.
I want to clarify for the umpteenth time that AKEL has never called for any unacceptable concessions to be made. On the contrary. Demetris Christofias, when he was the General Secretary of AKEL, was the first one to raise urgently the need for the abolition of Turkey’s guarantees and intervention rights. And this is the position supported by AKEL to date and AKEL will not accept a solution that won’t ensure these positions.
I will reiterate what I said to Mr. Anastasiades as a conclusion to our meeting. AKEL has nothing personal with anyone. Neither with Mr. Anastasiades, nor with anyone else. AKEL places above all else the interests of Cyprus and the Cypriot people. What guides AKEL as to how it formulates a position is how these interests are best served.
We repeat that the only way to liberate and reunite our homeland is the one we have been committed to for over 41 years. Namely, the solution of a Bizonal, Bi-communal Federation that will lead to one state, a continuation of the Republic of Cyprus, with a single sovereignty, a single international personality and a single citizenship, with political equality as set out by the United Nations; a solution that will rid us of the occupation and of the right of anyone to intervene in our own internal affairs. We have always supported these positions, and we will continue to do so.
If, therefore, Mr. Anastasiades is going to move in this direction when UN Secretary-General’s Special envoy on Cyprus Mrs. Lute comes to Cyprus he should be sure that AKEL will once again be at the forefront supporting the procedure in an effort to lead our country to its redemption. If anything else is attempted, he should also be certain once again that AKEL will be at the forefront of the resistance to any approaches leading us to a two-state solution, or to confederation.
I consider that frank discussions are the very important in our lives, and I think that in politics that’s how things should be. These are the clear positions I have conveyed today to the President of the Republic too.