NEWS

Turkey says Cyprus talks to be held with UN, EU by early March

turkey-says-cyprus-talks-to-be-held-with-un-eu-by-early-march

Talks over the divided island of Cyprus will be held in New York in the next two months with the participation of the United Nations, Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Friday.

The United Nations has been trying unsuccessfully for decades to reunite Cyprus, split in a Turkish invasion in 1974 after a brief Greek-inspired coup. The last attempt collapsed in disarray in 2017 after negotiations attended by all parties.

Only Ankara recognises the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) as an independent state. It does not recognise the internationally recognised Greek Cypriot government to the south.

Cavusoglu said Turkey, Greece, Britain – the island's guarantor powers – and the United Nations would convene the talks with the two Cypriot sides in late February or early March, with the European Union as an observer.

Speaking in Brussels after talks with senior EU officials, Cavusoglu said the bloc had so far "disregarded the rights of the Turkish side".

"We conveyed to them that this trust needs to be re-established," he added.

Cyprus's division has long been a source of friction between Turkey and EU member Greece, which will hold talks next Monday on a separate dispute over maritime rights in the eastern Mediterranean.

Turkey faces the threat of EU economic sanctions over the maritime rights dispute with Greece and Cyprus.

However, the EU and Turkey have both signalled this week that they want to improve relations, which have also been strained by disagreements over migration and Ankara's human rights record. 

[Reuters]