19 May 2014 11:39

President Anastasiades on Sunday made clear no symbols of the breakaway regime will be visible when US Vice President Joe Biden visits Cyprus and the Turkish-held north this week.
"We have been assured by those responsible for the Biden visit (Wednesday to Friday) that absolutely no symbols will be displayed," Anastasiades told journalists.
He was responding to rising criticism from opposition parties that Biden's meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu in the north would upgrade the status of the breakaway regime.
"The Vice President comes here to - first of all - meet the President of the Republic so that we discuss bilateral affairs, economy issues, energy, Ukrainian crisis and of course the Cyprus problem," Anastasiades also said.
"In addition, he will meet with the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community under that status - and only that  status. And always bearing in mind what we have asked for, that is the avoidance of whatever symbols the leadership of the Turkish Cypriots could use as a pretext to allege that they are recognised or upgraded," he added.
At the same time, government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides dismissed centre Diko leader Nicolas Papadopoulos' statement that Biden's visit is an election firework aimed at wooing the vote of Famagustans ardently wishing to return to their homes.
"We have noted Mr Papadopoulos' position. Alas, if the Vice President of the USA was coming to Cyprus for election purposes, that would be something I cannot even consider," Christodoulides said.
Papadopoulos, whose party left the governing coalition in January, was referring to Sunday's European Parliament elections in Cyprus where polls indicate an alarming rise in abstention.
"On the issue of Famagusta, the government has absolutely no intention of exploiting any desire or passion. On the contrary, we are working towards exploiting increased international interest on Cyprus. So that specific progress on the Cyprus problem but also on confidence building measures is recorded," added Christodoulides.
He also reminded that President Anastasiades' proposal on Famagusta is similar to that submitted by the government of late Tassos Papadopoulos in 2005 and that of Demetris Christofias' administration in 2010.
Moreover, Opposition Akel said international interest on the Cyprus problem is more than welcome but only when aimed in the right direction of a settlement.
And that it should not be one-sided but multi-sided with the involvement of traditional allies and supporters of Cyprus such as Russia, added a written statement.
Former foreign minister George Lillikas' Citizens Alliance movement went a step further, saying there is no doubt that "some cultivate the ground and attempt to impose in the conscience of people that there are two states in Cyprus".
This will be the basis of whatever overall settlement is achieved in Cyprus, added the party in a statement, yesterday.
"If Mr Biden wishes to meet Mr Eroglu this can be done at the residence of the representative of the United Nations in Cyprus," it also said.


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