UN’s Cyprus envoy in Ankara

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United Nations special envoy for Cyprus Espen Barth Eide was in Ankara on Feb. 7 to hold talks with Turkish officials over the ongoing peace talks to bring a lasting solution to the eastern Mediterranean island. 

Eide first held talks with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on Feb. 7. He was later scheduled to meet Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım. 

Eide’s visit to Ankara came a few days after he paid a visit to Athens, one of the three guarantor powers of Cyprus, where he held talks with Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias on Feb. 3. 

After a meeting with Eide in Nicosia on Feb. 1, Turkish Cypriot President Mustafa Akıncı and his Greek Cypriot counterpart, Nicos Anastasiades, asked the U.N. to prepare for a new peace conference in early March with guarantor powers, Turkey, Greece and the United Kingdom.

The two leaders’ meeting call for early March is the continuation of the first five-party conference that took place on Jan. 12 in Geneva, after which an expert-level working group convened on Jan. 18 and 19 to tackle remaining obstacles to a solution.

The island has been divided since 1974 when Turkey intervened in the northern part of the island following a coup aimed at unification with Greece.

Meanwhile, the Greek Cypriot government’s spokesperson, Nicos Christodoulides, told the Associated Press that U.N. Security Council member states must take part in a future summit aiming to remove a key stumbling block to a deal reunifying the island.

Christodoulides said that Security Council members have expressed their readiness to “actively and effectively take part” in such a summit, and that he expects their participation.

He said that the U.N. Security Council, which has been involved in Cyprus talks for more than five decades, should ensure the implementation of a peace accord – something that concerns both Greek and Turkish Cypriots.

Anastasiades suggested on Feb. 5 that the March summit will aim to sustain the momentum of talks rather than to achieve an overall peace accord.

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