The Greek Cypriot administration leader Nicos Anastasiades and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Mustafa Akıncı are set to meet on Oct. 26 to discuss the Cyprus issue, within the framework of U.N.-led peace talks.
The U.N. announced yesterday that Deputy Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Cyprus, Elizabeth Spehar, will host a meeting between Akıncı and Anastasiades at the Chief of Mission residence in the U.N. Protected Area next Friday. Reportedly, the opening of the crossing points at Dherynia and Lefka, on the Turkish part of the island, will be on the agenda at the meeting.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a recent report presented to the Security Council on Monday the he believes "prospects for a comprehensive settlement between the communities on the island remain alive."
In the report he also underscored that ahead of full-fledged negotiations, the sides had to agree on the "terms of reference that would constitute the consensus starting point for a possible negotiated conclusion to the Cyprus issue."
In relation to the renewed talks, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said Wednesday that Turkey is ready to do what is necessary to find a solution to the decades-long Cyprus issue, yet they will never shy away from taking steps to protect the interests of Turkish Cypriots and the Turkish people.
The Turkish side has always been a supporting actor to U.N.-led negotiations to find a just and viable settlement to the Cyprus issue. However, the peace talks on the ethnically-divided island have yielded no results so far. Turkey has been blaming Greek Cypriots intransigence for the failure of the talks, with rejections of several agreements and proposals in 1986, 1992, 2014, and, most recently, in July 2017.
The island has been divided since 1974, when Greece attempted to annex the island with a coup attempt, which was resisted by Turkey, resulting with Turkish Cypriots' setting up their own republic. The decision of the EU to start negotiations with the Greek Cypriot Administration for the accession of "Cyprus," without the consent of Turkish Cypriots complicated the situation even more.
Touching on the unilateral steps of the Greek side on natural resources, Çavuşoğlu stressed: "We are saying that both communities have a right to the resources around Cyprus. In the following process, we are against unilateral steps."
Turkey has been repeatedly stressing that Turkish Cypriots have rights to the resources around the area and rejecting the Greek Cypriot administration's unilateral drilling activity in the Eastern Mediterranean.
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