ATHENS, Greece (AP) – The president of the ethnically divided Cypriot nation on Wednesday met with the Greek prime minister next week for informal talks in Switzerland.
Representatives of the Turkish Cypriots, Greek Cypriots, Cypriot representatives of the three guarantor powers, Greece, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United Nations will take part in the Geneva talks. They come after a three-year hiatus in talks aimed at resolving the island’s decades-long split.
Cypriot President Nikos Anastasiades described the meeting as a “significant new attempt” to allow UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to assess whether there is enough common language to resume formal talks.
“Our efforts are not to usurp anyone’s rights. “Our effort is to find a way for both communities to feel safe, for the human rights of the two communities of the entire Cypriot people to be guaranteed,” Anastasiades said at the beginning of his meeting with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
Cyprus was divided into the internationally renowned Greek Cypriot southern part of Cyprus after the Turkish invasion in 1974, which sparked a coup to unite the island with Greece. The breakaway state in the north is recognized only by Turkey, which does not recognize the government of the south. Numerous rounds of UN-mediated peace talks failed to reunite the island.
The last push for a peace deal took place in mid-2017, but ended brutally. This led to a clear shift in the goal announced by the Turks of Cyprus to reunite the country as a federation of Greek-Turkish-speaking zones.
Greece և The internationally recognized government of Cyprus in the south is determined not to accept the solution of the two states that formalize the division of the country.
Negotiations are taking place during the cold-blooded relations between Greece and Turkey over the right to explore the maritime borders and energy in the Mediterranean.