The United Kingdom and Greece, who with Turkey are guarantors of security on Cyprus, said they will urge the leaders on both sides of the divided island to restart unity talks that collapsed in 2017 when Turkey insisted on keeping an army there and wanted the right to militarily intervene.
Cyprus has been split since a 1974 invasion that saw Turkey occupy the northern third and declare a Republic only it recognizes, with the legitimate government being admitted into the European Union that Turkey has been trying to join since 2005.
The announcement came after British Premier Theresa May, whose country was the Colonial ruler on Cyprus and still keeps a military base there, met with visiting Greek Premier and Radial Left SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras, the Turkish news agency Anadolu said.
Tsipras welcomed “the constructive role the UK has played in the talks so far as one of the guarantors,” a statement from May’s office said, giving no further details on what they could do as the reunification talks have been a graveyard for a long line of failed diplomats over the decades.
The United Nations wants to see Cyprus under a federal umbrella that could bring Turkey closer to the EU although newly re-elected President Recep Tayyip Erdogan refuses to recognize Cyprus’ legitimate government, bars its ships and planes and has sent warships into the Exclusive Economic Zone in a bid to keep foreign energy companies from drilling for oil and gas in waters where they are licensed to look.