EP head Schulz to visit Turkish Cypriot leader Akıncı

EP head Schulz to visit Turkish Cypriot leader Akıncı

EP head Schulz to visit Turkish Cypriot leader Akıncı

AFP photo

European Parliament President Martin Schulz will pay a visit to the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, during which he will also come together with Turkish Cypriot President Mustafa Akıncı. 

Schulz will visit Akıncı in Nicosia in the afternoon of March 29, a written statement issued by the Turkish Cypriot presidency stated on March 24.

The EP head will also hold meetings at the Greek Cypriot administration on the same day. He will meet Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, while also paying a visit to the Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus. 

Ahead of the Akıncı-Anastasiades meeting on March 28, U.N. Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide met with Akıncı on March 25. 

Speaking to the media following the meeting, Eide said that the upcoming visit to Cyprus by Schulz was a sign of the significant interest and massive support for an ongoing settlement talks from the European Commission and the European Parliament. 

He said that both sides had strongly underlined the importance of making this a genuinely European solution.

Speaking at a meeting of the Stelios Philanthropic Foundation on March 24, Eide said that the leaders were in agreement that that they did do not want to lose time, but wished to ensure that they used the time available to produce a settlement that would not only achieve “two yeses” at a referendum, but one that would work for Cyprus.

Eide said that since May 2015, when the U.N. brokered peace talks resumed, the two leaders had held 25 formal meetings, while their negotiators held 95 formal meetings.

The island has been divided since 1974 when Turkey partially intervened in the north after a coup aimed at uniting the island with Greece took place.