Cyprus peace talks to resume after cancelation crisis
ISTANBULPeace talks in Cyprus are scheduled to resume on June 8, following a pause after Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades called a halt to negotiations with his Turkish Cypriot counterpart Mustafa Akıncı.
Anastasiades had cancelled talks with Akıncı that were due to take place on May 27 over what he saw as an attempt to officially recognize the Turkish Cypriot administration.
The move came after Anastasiades did not attend a state dinner at a U.N.-organized humanitarian summit in Istanbul on May 23 upon discovering that Akıncı was also invited.
While in Turkey, Akıncı also met the U.N. secretary general on the sidelines of the summit.
Nicosia accused the U.N. of “making a mess” of things by getting involved in a deeply sensitive diplomatic game.
In a move to get the peace talks back on track, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon phoned Anastasiades on May 27 to clear the air.
“With reference to recent events in Istanbul, the secretary general reiterated that the U.N.’s policy on Cyprus has not changed,” said a U.N. statement.
After his talk with Ban, Anastasiades said on May 27 that he would resume peace talks with the Akıncı.
After the Greek Cypriot administration announced the calling off of the May 27 meeting, Akıncı invited his counterpart to return to “reason” and return to the negotiations table.
Akıncı said on June 2 that the first meeting of the peace talks after the cancellation of the May 27 meeting would take place on June 8 in Nicosia.
Speaking to media on June 2 after coming together with Anastasiades at an event for the International Children’s Day in Nicosia, where children from both of the island’s administrations met – during which the leaders of both sides of the island also met for a one-on-one meeting - Akıncı said Anastasiades had offered June 8 as the new date for official talks, which they both approved.
The Mediterranean island has been divided since 1974, when Turkey intervened into the north following a coup aimed at unification with Greece.
The halt in the talks was the first serious hitch in U.N.-brokered peace talks that resumed a year ago and came despite both leaders saying in a May 15 joint statement that they remain committed to reunifying the Mediterranean island in 2016.