Turkish Cypriot President Mustafa Akıncı was scheduled to meet Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades on Monday to resume stalled peace talks to reunify the divided island
Turkish Cypriot President Mustafa Akıncı was scheduled to meet Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades on Monday to resume stalled peace talks to reunify the divided island.
Newly elected Turkish Cypriot President Mustafa Akıncı paid his first official visit to Turkish leaders in Ankara on Wednesday prior to the reunification talks with Greek Cyprus on the divided island. U.N. Special Adviser for Cyprus, Espen Barth Eide, said both Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders would decide on the exact date to restart the stalled talks to reunify the divided island after they hold their first meeting. Eide said that Greek Cypriot President Kicos Anastasiades and Akıncı told him they are ready to restart peace talks "without delay" and that there is "no time to waste."
The date was set to be announced after Monday's meeting at a dinner hosted by Eide. The pair are expected to make a statement regarding when the talks will begin and how they will be structured following the dinner.
Akıncı was sworn in last Thursday as the fourth president of Turkish Cyprus. "A self-sufficient Turkish Cyprus with the ability to govern itself will be able to find its place as a federal structure in international law and EU institutions," Akıncı said.
He added that such a development would benefit both Turkish Cypriots and Turkey.
His remarks implying breaking ties with Turkey prompted a strong response from President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who chastised Akıncı saying that he "has to watch his words."
Akıncı responded by saying he would work closely with the Turkish government and that he recognized that he had a responsibility to observe and enhance ties between Ankara and Nicosia.
Having won the runoff presidential election last Sunday with 60.38 percent of the vote, Akıncı replaced Derviş Eroğlu who received 39.62 percent.
The ongoing dispute on the island started in the 1960s when a Treaty of Guarantee was signed between Turkish and Greek Cypriots over the island, along with the British government. The treaty stipulated that Cyprus would not participate in any political or economic union with other states, but three years later, Turkish Cypriots were ousted by force from all bodies of the new republic by Greek Cypriots. Later, Greek Cyprus claimed to be the representative of the island, known as the Republic of Cyprus, which is solely not recognized by Turkey.
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