UN’s Cyprus envoy in Ankara for key talks

UN’s Cyprus envoy in Ankara for key talks

UN’s Cyprus envoy in Ankara for key talks

Greek Cypriot leader and Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades (L) walks with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci (R) and U.N. envoy Espen Barth Eide in the buffer zone of Nicosia airport June 29, 2015. Reuters Photo

A senior United Nations official for Cyprus held meetings in Ankara with Turkish officials on Aug. 13 amid cautious optimism about a possible deal to reunify the island.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s special advisor on Cyprus, Espen Barth Eide, paid a one-day visit to Turkey to hold extensive talks with senior Turkish Foreign Ministry officials, including Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu. 

Eide and Çavuşoğlu exchanged views on ongoing negotiations between Turkish and Greek Cypriot leaders, Turkish Cypriot President Mustafa Akıncı and Greek Cypriot President Nikos Anastasiades, under U.N. mediation. The two men reviewed the phase of negotiations and evaluated the point the two sides have arrived on partnership talks. 

According to diplomatic sources, Eide informed Çavuşoğlu about the content of the talks and expressed his satisfaction on the support Turkey has pledged for the process. Çavuşoğlu, on the other hand, stressed Turkey’s determination to reach a fair and lasting settlement on the basis of the political equity of the Turkish Cypriots. The Turkish minister underlined that Turkey would continue to support the efforts for a comprehensive settlement on the island. 

Turkey strongly supports the ongoing talks and has expressed its call for the process to be completed with a referendum on unifying the two sides under a federal state either at the end of this year or in early 2016. 

The talks between the two parts were resumed in recent months, after Akıncı’s election as northern Cypriot president within a framework that was agreed upon in 2014. An envisaged settlement will be based on a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation with political equality, the framework suggests, stipulating a single united Cyprus citizenship, regulated by federal law. 

Nikos Christodoulides, the Greek Cypriot government spokesman, recently said that negotiations on the reunification of Cyprus are progressing and that both sides agree on 40 points. Touching on issues regarding land and property, Christodoulides stressed that good progress is being made and that all efforts would be transparent.