Cypriot Chambers of Commerce to establish body in boost to reunification talks

Cypriot Chambers of Commerce to establish body in boost to reunification talks

Cypriot Chambers of Commerce to establish body in boost to reunification talks

US Vice President Joe Biden (C) poses with Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades (L) and Turkish Cypriot leader Derviş Eroğlu (R) near the Ledra palace in the UN-patrolled Buffer Zone in Nicosia on May 22, 2014.

Turkish and Greek Cypriot Chambers of Commerce will soon start a new initiative on establishing a cooperation mechanism to accelerate the reunification process on the divided island.

The chambers will organize joint meetings, with the first to take place on June 2 at the U.N.-controlled buffer zone in Nicosia between Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB) Chairman Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, his Greek counterpart, Constantine Michalos, and the chairmen of Cypriot sides, Fikri Toros and Phisias Pilides.

The meetings will proceed in parallel with the reunification talks that started in February after a two-year hiatus. The aim of the meetings is to produce joint projects that will ease the process of cohabitation of both communities, like the recognition of the transmitters of both sides’ mobile operators.

Last year, Hisarcıklıoğlu was appointed as the chair of the Jerusalem Arbitration Center (JAC), a body that enables the resolution of conflicts between Israel and Palestine caused by contracts in an efficient manner without going to court. It was founded by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).

Hisarcıklıoğlu was selected as the international head of the arbitration court by the ICC’s Israeli and Palestinian representatives in a consensus to mediate business-related disputes between the two parties.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden visited the island last week and said rival leaders had agreed to “speed up” efforts to end the island’s 40-year division. Biden was the highest-level U.S. official to visit Cyprus since Lyndon Johnson in 1962.   

He met with Turkish Cypriot President Derviş Eroğlu and his Greek Cypriot counterpart, Nicos Anastasiades, separately in Nicosia before dining with them in the U.N.-patrolled buffer zone.

“The two leaders agreed to speed up the process of negotiations toward a comprehensive settlement, which is their priority. They agreed to meet at least twice a month to this end. Their next meeting will be on June 2,” Biden told journalists May 22.