Christofias Says That Many People Abroad Want Him To Run For President Again
President Demetris Christofias said that many people abroad want him to run for President again, brushing aside his low approval ratings at home, in a press conference on Cyprus reunification talks held this morning. Answering critisism about his handling of the Cyprus issue, he said that he is not bound by the National Council's decisions.
Speaking in defiant and cold tones during the televised press conference, he criticised members of the national council for trying to restrict his negotiations on the Cyprus problem, saying they can all go back to their offices, take whatever decisions they like, but those decisions "will not bind the President of the Republic."
During the last meeting between Cyprus' leaders Christofias and Dervis Eroglu with UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon at Greentree Estate, the National Council agreed to guidelines governing the president's negotiations. The president was not allowed to agree to any deadlines or international conferences unless the fundamentals of property, governance and power-sharing are agreed, according to the National Council's decision. Yesterday, Ban ki-Moon said that reunification talks are close to deadlock on the issues of property and the executive.
Christofias said that if the attacks on him continue, he will not hold himself back, and that at the very least he demands some respect. He said that he realises his mistakes, but he will never admit to them because if he did "Eroglu and Turkey will learn about them."
About next years presidential elections, he said that his candidency will depend on the outcome of the negotiations for the Cyprus issue. "In any case," he added "many people abroad want me to run." When asked who are the many people abroad, he said that "Many foreign leaders cannot imagine a Cyprus without me as a President."
Talks have been going on for more than three years, and Christofias' press conference did not have any new information on his negotiations towards a united, bi-communal federation based on political equality. In related comments, UN Special Adviser Alexander Downer said that talks could end in June prior to Cyprus taking up the EU's rotating presidency.
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