Cyprus leaders set for new talks in January
The Turkish and Greek Cypriot leaders have agreed to restart stalled reunification talks early next year, the United Nations announced in a statement late Thursday.
Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot President Mustafa Akinci came to the decision while meeting at the Head of Mission’s Residence in the UN Protected Area (UNPA) under the auspices of Special UN Cyprus Envoy Espen Barth Eide.
"The leaders have decided to immediately re-engage in their negotiations and have instructed their negotiators to continue meeting in order to achieve further progress on all outstanding issues interdependently," the UN said in a statement.
According to the statement, the sides will meet in Geneva on Jan. 9 to reach a comprehensive settlement as soon as possible.
"On the 11th of January, they will present their respective maps.
"From the 12th of January, a Conference on Cyprus will be convened with the added participation of the guarantor powers. Other relevant parties shall be invited as needed," it added.
Akinci and Anastasiades met in Mont Pelerin for a first round last month.
They returned to tackle territorial adjustments needed for an anticipated two-state federation. However, the two leaders declined to shake hands for photographers at the start of their latest talks.
If a deal could be reached on territorial changes, negotiators are expected to announce a date for a final summit between the Turkish and Greek Cypriot leaders and three other states involved in the process: Turkey, Greece, and the U.K.
That meeting would focus on security, particularly the presence of 30,000 Turkish troops that remain on the island after a 1974 military coup was followed by Turkey’s intervention as a guarantor power.
Reunification discussions resumed in May 2015, and both sides have repeatedly expressed optimism that a solution would be found by the end of this year.
Once a final agreement is reached, it would be put to both communities in a referendum. A peace deal was approved by Turkish Cypriots in 2004 but rejected by Greek Cypriot voters.AA
Last Modified: 2016-12-02 12:44:24
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