Cyprus’ estranged leaders to meet next week

Cyprus’ estranged leaders to meet next week

Cyprus’ newly elected President Nikos Christodoulides will meet with Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar next week, his office said on Thursday.

The February 23 meeting will take place at the official residence of Canadian diplomat Colin Stewart, who is the special representative of the United Nations’ Secretary-General to Cyprus. The setting is a UN-controlled buffer zone in the capital Nicosia, splitting Cyprus’s Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities.

Christodoulides won a closely contested presidential election on February 12, after which Tatar called to congratulate him.

Talks between the two Cypriot sides through the United Nations are on a community level. Christodoulides, elected to represent Cyprus as president internationally, attends reunification talks in his capacity as Greek Cypriot leader.

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

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]

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