Presidential campaign goes north

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Presidential candidate Achilleas Demetriades met Wednesday with the former leader of the Turkish Cypriot community Mustafa Akinci to build a communication bridge.

After the meeting, Demetriades referred to the bond of friendship and mutual respect that ties Mustafa Akinci and himself, which goes back when along with his father Lellos, former Nicosia Mayor, they were trying to find solutions to the problems Nicosia was facing.

“I experienced firsthand the anguish but at the same time the determination that both men showed to address the serious issues that a divided Nicosia was facing under very difficult conditions and to breathe back life and prospect to the old town”.

Demetriades described Akinci as “a person with integrity, determination and vision, then and now”.

“We had a very open and constructive meeting, during which I presented my views on the Cyprus issue and listened to his experiences in the bi-communal talks.”

Demetriades said that he and Akinci see the large obstacles that exist, and they agreed that communication between the two communities, especially when no bi-communal negotiations take place, is vital in forming the basis for a better future and a common homeland for all Cypriots can be built.

“What I realise every time I meet open-minded Turkish Cypriots is their deep anxiety in maintaining the identity of their community.

“Turkish Cypriots are in a constant fight for this, a fight that should not leave us, Greek Cypriots, indifferent because their success in this is to the benefit of the whole of Cyprus”.

He thanked Akinci for the meeting, while at the same time, he asked him to remain active in public life because Cyprus needs his positive approach and way of thinking.

Akinci said they both share the same vision for Cyprus, but there is still much work to be done until a solution is agreed upon.

He wanted to see the younger generation create momentum towards a solution, pointing out that both communities must want a solution to reach a political settlement.