Anastasiades, Akinci agree to relaunch Cyprus peace talks


Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish-Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci met in Nicosia’s United Nations-patrolled buffer zone on Thursday in a symbolic show of good will after the two sides agreed to relaunch stalled peace talks aimed at reunifying the divided island.

The talks are to start again on June 8, the two leaders agreed.

Anastasiades called off scheduled talks last week over what he said were attempts to recognize the Turkish-occupied north of the island. The Cypriot leader snubbed a dinner held for state leaders at a UN-organized humanitarian summit in Istanbul when he found out that Akinci was also invited.

It was the first serious upset since peace talks were relaunched a year ago and required the intervention of UN chief Ban Ki-moon to put the process back on track.

Anastasiades said he looked forward to “intensive consultations so we can find common ground to reach a desired solution as soon as possible.”