UN’s Cyprus envoy meets with Turkish prime minister
ANKARA - Anadolu Agency
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu (L) welcomes the United Nations Secretary-General's Special Advisor on Cyprus, Espen Barth Eide (R) on Dec. 9, 2015. AA PhotoThe U.N. Secretary-General’s Special Advisor on Cyprus, Espen Barth Eide, met with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu behind closed doors in Ankara late on Dec. 8, discussing the latest developments in talks to find a peaceful solution to the Cyprus issue.
Davutoğlu welcomed Eide at the prime ministerial palace in the Turkish capital, where they conducted a meeting that was closed to the press. They also did not hold a joint press conference or issue a statement about the meeting.
Eide is expected to continue holding meetings in Ankara on Dec. 9, according to the Turkish Foreign Ministry.
The Turkish and Greek Cypriot leaders are currently engaged in intensive talks under the guidance of the United Nations to find a solution to the partition of the island, a 40-year-old conflict.
The island’s Greek and Turkish communities have lived apart since Turkey invaded the north in 1974 after a Greek-inspired coup aimed at uniting Cyprus with Greece.
One of the world’s oldest peacekeeping forces monitors a 180-kilometer ceasefire line that slices across the island and bisects the capital Nicosia.
The Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders want a settlement, while the discovery of offshore gas could either complicate matters or cushion the cost.
As part of the increased international support to find a solution to the issue, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry visited the island on Dec. 4, held talks with the two leaders and voiced optimism that a deal may finally be at hand to reunite the east Mediterranean island.
“I am more convinced than ever that a resolution to the long-standing division of Cyprus is within reach,” Kerry said at the time.
Kerry’s visit came after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov visited the island, though only meeting with Greek Cypriot President Nikos Anastasiades and not with Turkish leader Mustafa Akıncı.