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State supports visit proposed visit to Turkey by DISY leader.

Byline: Elias Hazou

THE PRESIDENT "has no problem" sending any political leader abroad as an emissary for Cyprus, including DISY boss Nikos Anastassiades, the government said yesterday.

Government spokesman Stefanos Stefanos was commenting on recent remarks by Anastassiades, who said that he was open to the possibility of traveling to Ankara to meet with Turkish leaders.

The DISY chief first broached the issue in an interview with Politis on Sunday, where he said he was behind the President when it came to Cyprus despite any disagreements on the domestic front.

Anastassiades said he welcomed the notion of spearheading an "enlightenment campaign" abroad, and highlighted DISY's leverage within the European People's Party in particular.

In 2005 Anastassiades got heavy flak from all parties, including AKEL, for visiting the Turkish capital. Among other things, he was called a turncoat, and his visit to Ankara was likened to Themistocles' proverbial mission to the court of the Persian king Artaxerxes.

"The President of the Republic has no problem sending any political leader as an emissary to any country -- even Mr Anastassiades to Turkey," Stefanou told a news briefing.

But for the time being, this was a hypothetical scenario, the spokesman rushed to add.

"To date, there has been no specific discussion with Mr Anastassiades," he said.

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Publication:Cyprus Mail (Cyprus)
Date:Mar 5, 2009
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