Mrs May “forgot” Nicos Anastassiades is the President of Cyprus

In her short answer to a question by the Conservative MP for Enfield Southgate Mr David Burrowes last week at the House of Commons, the UK Prime Minister Mrs Theresa May, made references to four people: “President Erdogan” (twice), “the Prime Minister of Turkey”, “Prime Minister Tsipras” and “Nicos Anastasiades”.

Some people in the UK Cypriot community find it hard to believe that Mrs May’s “forgetfulness” or “absentmindedness” was accidental. The same people commented that Mrs May’s failure to mention Nicos Anastasiades with his title as President of Cyprus betrayed the fact that Cyprus was not in her list of priorities for her visit to Ankara and she would not say anything that would spoil her talks with Mr Erdogan and his prime minister.

This is the full text of Mr Burrowes’ question and Mrs May’s answer as it appears in the House of Commons Hansard:

Mr David Burrowes (Enfield, Southgate) (Con):

“May I welcome the Prime Minister’s meeting with the President of Turkey on Saturday, when we can show our solidarity in the fight against terrorism and deepen our trading relationship? Will she also seek support for a united and independent Cyprus, free from Turkish troops?”

The Prime Minister:

“I thank my hon. Friend for raising that matter. There are important issues that I will be discussing with President Erdogan and with the Prime Minister of Turkey when I meet them on Saturday. On Cyprus, I am hopeful that the talks will continue and that we will come to a solution—we are closer to a solution now than we have been before. I have already spoken to Prime Minister Tsipras and to President Erdogan about the need to ensure that we are creative in the thinking and in the finding of a solution. I had a further telephone call with Nicos Anastasiades over the weekend about this very issue. We stand ready as a guarantor to play our part in ensuring that we see a successful conclusion of these talks and the reunification of Cyprus that people have been working towards for some time.”