Nicosia suggests goodwill gestures until reunification talks resume

Cyprus on Thursday asked United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for the island’s reunification talks to resume in the fall to allow Nicosia time to deal with its pressing economic problems.

Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides on Thursday revealed the request to the UN but added that the Greek- and Turkish-Cypriot sides could make goodwill gestures before talks resume.

He proposed that the Greek Cypriots who lived in Famagusta, now occupied by Turkey, be allowed to return to the city. In return, Nicosia would allow the Turkish Cypriots to carry out direct trade from Famagusta’s port, under European Union oversight.

Cyprus’s Defense Minister Fotis Fotiou (right) held talks with his Greek counterpart Panos Panayiotopoulos and Foreign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos (left) in Athens. Among other things, the three men discussed an upcoming joint military exercise between Greece, Cyprus and Israel.