Cyprus president-elect ready to meet Turk Cypriot leader

Cyprus president-elect ready to meet Turk Cypriot leader

Cyprus President-elect Nikos Christodoulides is ready to meet with the head of the estranged Turkish Cypriot community, his office said on Monday, a day after his election.

Christodoulides clinched victory in a closely fought election on Sunday. He will be representing the Greek Cypriot community if there is a resumption of peace talks on the ethnically-split island.

Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar called Christodoulides to congratulate him, a spokesman for Christodoulides’ office said.

“He (Christodoulides) said he would be ready to meet, even before March 1, and would reiterate this through the UN,” the spokesman said, referring to the date Christodoulides formally takes over the presidency.

The president-elect also conveyed to Tatar his deepest condolences over the deaths of Turkish Cypriots in the massive earthquake which struck Turkey and Syria on February 6.

Christodoulides, a former foreign minister, says a resumption of now-stalled peace talks is his priority.

Parties supporting him have typically followed a hard line in reunification talks, and two of his backers reject the United Nations basis for the talks, which is uniting Cyprus under a loose federal umbrella. Tatar, who is also a hardliner, says the only solution for Cyprus is a two-state one, with each side holding equal sovereign rights.

Cyprus was split in a Turkish invasion in 1974 triggered by a brief Greek-inspired coup. The last round of intensive talks collapsed in mid-2017. [Reuters]

Subscribe to our Newsletters

Enter your information below to receive our weekly newsletters with the latest insights, opinion pieces and current events straight to your inbox.

By signing up you are agreeing to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.