Cyprus talks to resume, says Turkish Cypriot president
NICOSIA – Anadolu Agency
CİHAN PhotoNegotiations between the Turkish Cypriot government and the Greek Cypriot administration to find a solution to the ongoing dispute over the divided island are to resume, the recently elected Turkish Cypriot president has announced.
New Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Mustafa Akıncı made the announcement on Monday after holding talks with Espen Barth Eide, the U.N. Special Adviser on Cyprus, in his Nicosia presidential office.
“There is an important opportunity for the solution of the Cyprus issue and the talks will resume,” Akıncı said in the press conference with Eide.
Eide said the talks represented the “best opportunity” of the decade to resolve the ongoing dispute between Turkish and Greek Cypriots.
A date for the talks is expected to be set during a meeting on May 11 between Akinci and Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades.
Akıncı said TRNC Foreign Minister Özdil Nami, who will represent Turkish Cypriots in the negotiations with the Greek Cypriot side, is to pay a one-day visit to Ankara on May 6 to hold talks with Turkish authorities.
“Both sides must show a will and resolution to solve the Cyprus issue,” he said.
“The leaders must convene and discuss all issues. Above all, it must be seen whether they share the same vision, or not,” he added.
Eide said Turkey should seize the opportunity of the next phase of the negotiation process, adding Ankara was well aware that a solution on the island would also benefit the country.
Peace talks between the Greek Cypriot administration and the Turkish Cypriot government have been on hold since October.
Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots have tried to find a comprehensive settlement to renew their partnership since a joint government on the island collapsed in 1963.
The island has been divided into a Turkish Cypriot government in the northern third and Greek Cypriot administration in the southern two-thirds after a 1974 military coup by Greece was followed by the intervention of Turkey as a guarantor power in Cyprus.
Peace talks were unilaterally suspended by the Greek Cypriot side last October after Turkey issued a navigational telex on behalf of the TRNC for seismic research off the coast of Cyprus.