French FM visits Turkish Cyprus as peace negotiations continue
NICOSIAFrench Foreign Minister Jena-Marc Ayrault visited Turkish Cyprus on Oct. 25, holding talks with Turkish Cypriot President Mustafa Akıncı, as peace negotiations to end the more than 40-year-old conflict continue.
Ayrault and Akıncı held a closed-door meeting in Nicosia late on Oct. 25, the Turkish Cypriot Presidency said on its website.
Ayrault had earlier paid a visit to the Greek Cypriot administration, during which he met with Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and Greek Cypriot Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides.
The island has been divided into a Turkish Cypriot administration in the north and a Greek Cypriot administration in the south since Turkey partially intervened in the north of the island on 1974 as a guarantor power after a coup sought unification with Greece.
Akıncı and Anastasiades re-launched peace talks in May 2015, under the guidance of the United Nations. Since then, the two leaders have engaged in multiple meetings in order to find a peaceful solution to the more than 40-year-old conflict.
While no statement was made after the meeting with Akıncı, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency said Ayrault and Akıncı discussed the latest developments in the peace process and the Turkish Cypriot’s perspective.
The Turkish Cypriot negotiator for the peace talks, Özdil Nami, and Turkish Cypriot Presidential spokesperson Barış Burcu were also present at the meeting.
France has always supported a solution to the Cyprus problem based on “European principles and international resolutions,” Ayrault said on Oct. 25 after meeting with Kasoulides, Cyprus-mail.com reported.
“The reunification of Cyprus will send a unique message of peace in the region,” he added.