President Anastasiades and Mustafa Akinci meet over possible measures against coronavirus

The two leaders will meet today after initial cooperation initiative was announced last week

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President Anastasiades and Mustafa Akinci meet over possible measures against coronavirus

President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci will meet today in a bid to discuss the best ways to cooperate and the necessary measures to be taken to protect the people of Cyprus from coronavirus, the Presidency of the Republic announced.

According to a press release issued by the Presidency, Anastasiades and Akinci talked over the phone last Friday and agreed to meet today, 19:00 local time, before a scheduled meeting of the bicommunal technical committee on Culture to be held in their presence at Ledra Palace, in the UN-controlled buffer zone. They also agreed to convene the bi-communal technical committee on health issues.

“The President of the Republic held a telephone conversation with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci with the latter conveying his concerns over the dangers from the spread of coronavirus and the need for cooperation with a view to jointly take measures to protect the Cypriot people,” the Presidency said.

“The President”, the release added, “taking into account the duty for the protection of the Cypriot citizens, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, and the need for taking the necessary measures to avert possible dangers from the spread of the virus agreed with the Turkish Cypriot leader to convene the bi-communal Committee on Health on Monday, February 3 at 18:00 local time in Ledra Palace.”

Furthermore, the two leaders agreed to meet on Monday 19:00 at Ledra Palace, half an hour before the meeting of the bi-communal committee which will convene in their presence, to discuss “the best way to cooperate and the measures necessary for the provision of the greatest possible protection to the Cypriot people, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.”

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The last round of negotiations, in July 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively.

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