By Murat Demirci
LEFKOSA, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (AA) – The president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus Mustafa Akinci has called on his Greek Cypriot counterpart Thursday to join him in acting like a leader in order to reach a long-awaited deal in the divided island.
Akinci’s remarks came after the Greek Cypriot leader, Nicos Anastasiades, canceled a meeting with the former and cut short a visit to Turkey over a perceived protocol breach at a UN summit.
Anastasiades, who was in Turkey for the World Humanitarian Summit Monday, also refused to attend an official dinner hosted by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan after learning that Akinci was also invited.
“To reach the mutual agreement is the leaders' duty," said Akinci in an interview on Al-Jazeera Thursday.
Akinci said he has found the Greek Cypriot leader's reaction to his meeting with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon while he was in Istanbul for the World Humanitarian Summit, "unreasonable".
"Hope he would review his position. Suspending peace negotiations cannot be accepted at all," he said.
"These negotiations are the last chance for a federal solution in Cyprus," he stressed.
Reunification talks between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities on the island resumed in May 2015 when the newly-elected Akinci met with his Greek Cypriot counterpart Nicos Anastasiades.
Previous negotiations had stalled in October 2014 due to a dispute over gas exploration.
The eastern Mediterranean island was divided into a Turkish Cypriot state in the north and a Greek Cypriot administration in the south after a 1974 military coup on the island was followed by the intervention of Turkey as a guarantor power.
*Anadolu Agency correspondent Ahmet Sait Akcay contributed to this story from Ankara.