Bagis invites Chiristofias in condition

Monday, September 03, 2012

Turkey’s EU minister and chief accession negotiator, Egemen Bagis, has unofficially invited Greek Cyprus President Demetris Christofias to Istanbul ”“ 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 “looking for a reason to come to Istanbul” 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.

“I will be happy to be the host provided that they will come together and sit at the same table,” 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. “They should not be worried, they will be hosted in Istanbul in the best way possible,” Bagis said. “I personally guarantee that there will not be any problem.” It is too early to speculate whether the Europa League games between the Turkish and Greek Cypriot clubs could lead to a kind of “football diplomacy” similar to the one between Turkey and Armenia.

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