Cyprus leaders seek new UN summit in early March, says envoy
NICOSIAThe leaders of Cyprus have asked the United Nations to prepare for a new peace conference in early March with guarantor powers, a U.N. envoy said Feb. 1.
“The leaders requested the United Nations to prepare, in consultation with the guarantor powers, for the continuation of the Conference on Cyprus at a political level in early March,” said U.N. Cyprus envoy Espen Barth Eide in a written statement on Feb. 1, after a meeting with Turkish and Greek Cyprus’ respective leaders, Mustafa Akıncı and Nicos Anastasiades, in Nicosia.
Anastasiades and Akıncı also agreed to meet weekly through the month of February to try to resolve outstanding issues, while the negotiators will also continue their regular meetings, Eide added.
The two leaders’ next meeting is scheduled for Feb. 9, Eide said.
On Jan. 12, a five-part conference was held in Geneva with the participation of the three guarantors of the island: Turkey, Greece and the United Kingdom.
The two leaders’ meeting call for early March is the continuation of the first five-party on Jan. 12, after which an expert-level working group convened on Jan. 18-19 to tackle remaining the obstacles to a solution.
“In line with the statement of the Conference on Cyprus of Jan. 12, the leaders decided on the way forward for the negotiations,” said Eide. “They underscored their strong resolve and determination to maintain the current momentum.”
The island has been divided since 1974 when Turkey intervened in the northern part of the island following a coup aimed at unification with Greece.
Speaking to members of the press on Jan. 31 after meeting Anastasiades and Akıncı separately, Eide said the U.N. Security Council stated in a meeting last week that the current status quo on the island was “untenable and has to be changed.”
“The council strongly urged the leaders to make the most of this opportunity, stating that the current status quo is untenable and has to be changed, and asking all parties to do their utmost to be flexible and creative and contribute to a solution as soon as possible,” Eide said Jan. 31.