Negotiators launch cross talks in search of Cyprus settlement

Greek- and Turkish-Cypriot negotiators were set to make simultaneous cross visits to guarantor powers Turkey and Greece on Thursday following the resumption of peace talks between the two sides earlier this month.

Greek-Cypriot official Andreas Mavroyiannis was scheduled to hold talks in Ankara with Foreign Minister undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioglu, while Turkish-Cypriot negotiator Kudret Ozersay was expected in Athens for a meeting with Foreign Ministry general secretary Anastasis Mitsialis.

Reports said Greek-Cypriot diplomats aimed to discuss specific issues, including the re-opening of the deserted district of Varosha. However, according to Hurriyet Daily News, Turkish officials suggested the contacts were mainly aimed to overcome psychological barriers.

“I believe a healthy dialogue can be built through meetings in Ankara and Athens. These discussions will develop a reliable environment of dialogue that will enable the removal of prejudices. What is crucial is removing prejudices,” Anadolu Agency quoted Ozersay as saying.

Turkey invaded Cyprus's north in 1974 after a Greek-inspired coup. It provides political and financial support to a breakaway Turkish Cypriot state there which is recognized only by Ankara.