Pompeo postpones meeting with Akıncı, Anastasiades due to situation in Iraq
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo postponed a planned trip to Central Asia and Cyprus to deal with the ongoing developments out of Baghdad, the State Department announced on Jan. 1.
"Secretary Pompeo must postpone his visit to Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Cyprus due to the need for the Secretary to be in Washington, D.C., to continue monitoring the ongoing situation in Iraq and ensure the safety and security of Americans in the Middle East," State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement.
“Secretary Pompeo's trip will be rescheduled in the near future and he looks forward to the visit at that time,” it said in the statement. Pompeo was slated to travel later this week to Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Cyprus.
His last stop was expected to be in Nicosia, where he would have met with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı and Greek Cypriot leader Nikos Anastasiades.
Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı met with US Ambassador to Nicosia Judith Gail Garber.
During the meeting, President Akıncı was informed about the postponement of Mike Pompeo's visit to Cyprus.
The decades since have seen several attempts to resolve the dispute, all ending in failure.
The latest, in 2017 in Crans-Montana, held with the participation of the guarantor countries -- Turkey, Greece, and the U.K. -- ended in failure.
In 2004, in twin referendums, the plan of then-U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan was accepted by Turkish Cypriots but rejected by Greek Cypriots.
Talks have focused on a federal model, based on the political equality of the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot sides, but Greek Cypriots’ intransigence and rejection of such a solution, including the Annan Plan, led to the emergence of other models.
Mustafa Akıncı and Nikos Anastasiades, the leaders of Cyprus' divided communities, attended a dinner on Nov. 25 in Berlin hosted by the U.N. chief, seeking to find a way forward to resume talks.
After a tripartite meeting in Berlin, between Cypriot leaders and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Nov. 25, Guterres issued a statement saying that he “agreed to extend my efforts to achieve terms of reference to serve as a consensus starting point for phased, meaningful, and results-oriented negotiations at the earliest feasible opportunity.”