The European Union is demanding to participate as an observing party to the United Nations-led Cyprus talks in Switzerland's Geneva on April 27-29.
The U.N.-led talks on the Cyprus issue will host the two sides on the island – the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and the Greek Cypriot administration – as well as guarantor countries Turkey, Greece and the United Kingdom.
Speaking ahead of the bloc's foreign relations council meeting, a senior EU diplomat said Thursday that the bloc had participated in the previous Cyprus talks in Crans-Montana in 2017 as an observer and will take place in the upcoming talks under the same status.
"Cyprus issue is one of the most difficult diplomatic problems, but no matter how the solution is, since it will be on an island within the EU, as a natural and logical consequence of this, we will be there, as required by the EU acquis," the diplomat said.
For the EU to participate, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres must make an official invitation.
Earlier this month, the EU expressed that the bloc is ready to provide “whatever assistance” it can to both Turkish and Greek Cypriot leaders as well as the U.N., adding that it needs to get involved in the U.N.-led talks on Cyprus as the issue is an "EU problem."
“The sooner the EU becomes fully involved in the renewed settlement talks, the better,” the bloc’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell wrote on his blog in the wake of his visit to the island of Cyprus, when he met with both Ersin Tatar, president of the TRNC, and Nicos Anastasiades, the Greek Cypriot administration leader.
Turkish leaders have expressed skepticism over EU involvement in the Cyprus issue, saying that the bloc has shown itself a biased actor on the issue.
The Cyprus issue remains unresolved despite a series of efforts over the past two decades, including a failed 2017 U.N. initiative with the participation of the guarantor countries.
The island has been divided since 1964, when ethnic attacks forced Turkish Cypriots to withdraw into enclaves for their safety. In 1974, a Greek Cypriot coup aiming at Greece’s annexation led to Turkey’s military intervention as a guarantor power to protect Turkish Cypriots from persecution and violence. The TRNC was founded in 1983. The Greek Cypriot administration entered the EU in 2004, the same year that Greek Cypriots thwarted a U.N. bid – the Annan Plan – to end the decadeslong dispute in a referendum.
The U.N. recently announced that Guterres was inviting the leaders to an informal meeting in Geneva, Switzerland on April 27-29 “to determine whether a common ground exists for the parties to negotiate a lasting solution to the Cyprus problem within a foreseeable horizon.”
Last month, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan ruled out discussing a federal system to reunify the island of Cyprus, insisting that a two-state accord is the only way forward. TRNC President Ersin Tatar has strongly echoed Erdoğan. Greek Cypriots firmly reject any deal that would legitimize the island’s ethnic partition. The Greek Cypriot administration instead is proposing a “decentralized federation” under which the Greek and Turkish speaking zones would be granted more authority to run their own affairs.
Please click to read our informative text prepared pursuant to the Law on the Protection of Personal Data No. 6698 and to get information about the cookies used on our website in accordance with the relevant legislation.
6698 sayılı Kişisel Verilerin Korunması Kanunu uyarınca hazırlanmış aydınlatma metnimizi okumak ve sitemizde ilgili mevzuata uygun olarak kullanılan çerezlerle ilgili bilgi almak için lütfen tıklayınız.