UN to continue interaction with the leaders to help resume Cyprus peace talks

The leaders of the two communities in Cyprus have exchanged ideas about the way ahead, and the UN will continue the interaction with them to lay the groundwork for the resumption of the talks.

In a joint statement by the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades and the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Ak?nc?, the UN announced after a four-hour long dinner in the UN-controlled buffer zone, hosted by UN Secretary Generals Special Advisor on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide to help resume the stalled peace talks, that Anastasiades and Akinci had an “open and constructive exchange about the challenges experienced over the last months”.

Furthermore, the statement added, “they exchanged ideas about the way ahead”.

The statement noted that as “the two leaders will be abroad in the coming days, the Special Adviser of the Secretary-General, Mr Espen Barth Eide, will be continuing his interaction with them in order to lay the groundwork for the resumption of the negotiations as soon as possible”.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. UN-backed efforts to reunify the island under a federal roof were suspended when Mustafa Akinci walked out of a meeting in mid February, claiming that a House decision to commemorate, briefly, in school a 1950 referendum advocating union with Greece was in fact a shift in the long standing position of the Greek Cypriot side for a bicommunal, bizonal federal solution in Cyprus.

President Anastasiades has described the decision “wrong”, saying the timing was not right. Akinci said he would not return to the negotiations unless the decision is revoked. The House is set to vote on an amendment on the bill, which essentially annuls the earlier House decision, on Friday 7 April.

Source: Cyprus News Agency