Turkeyâ€™s EU minister and chief accession negotiator, Egemen Bagis, has unofficially invited Greek Cyprus President Demetris Christofias to Istanbul â€“ albeit with one condition: He must sit at the same table as his Turkish Cypriot counterpart.
Bagis told the Hurriyet Daily News yesterday that Christofias was â€œlooking for a reason to come to Istanbulâ€ and that he should talk to Turkish Cypriot President Dervis Eroglu about the possibility of coming to Istanbul to watch a Europa League game between Fenerbahce and Greek Cypriot club AEL Limassol scheduled for Nov. 8.
â€œI will be happy to be the host provided that they will come together and sit at the same table,â€ Bagis said in a phone interview. The minister made assurances that the Greek Cypriot team would not face such troubles in the game in Istanbul. â€œThey should not be worried, they will be hosted in Istanbul in the best way possible,â€ Bagis said. â€œI personally guarantee that there will not be any problem.â€ It is too early to speculate whether the Europa League games between the Turkish and Greek Cypriot clubs could lead to a kind of â€œfootball diplomacyâ€ similar to the one between Turkey and Armenia.
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