At UN, Anastasiades Will Push Re-start of Cyprus Unity Talks

Nicos Anastasiades (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias, FILE)

Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades said he will use the opening of the United Nations General Assembly to urge resumption of unity talks on the island that fell apart when Turkey insisted on keeping an army on the northern third it has unlawfully occupied since a 1974 invasion.

Turkish-Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also insisted on the right to militarily intervene – invade – again when they wanted, leading Anastasiades to walk away from negotiations that fell apart in July, 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana.

Speaking to the press in New York, where he is attending the 73rd session of the UN annual opening, he said the issue should be revived using guidelines from Secretary-General Antonio Guterres who was at the Swiss talks but couldn’t broker a deal, becoming the latest in a long line of diplomats to fail.

American diplomat Jane Holl Lute is a temporary UN envoy who has talked to both sides and gotten nowhere either. Anastasiades and Akinci are due to talk again on Sept. 28.

UN General Assembly, Anastasiades said that this year’s session was of particular interest, given the expected activity in the Cyprus talks.

“Our position is well-known, we are determined and we also have the will in order for talks to resume – after there has been a preparation to avoid a new failure – at a new conference from where we were left off on the basis of the Guterres framework,” said Anastasiades.

He had said he was willing to talk again if Turkey and Turkish-Cypriots would agree to the removal of Turkish troops and demanding the right to militarily intervene, which they said they wouldn’t, leaving both sides in limbo again.

“What we are aiming at is a normal state, as the Secretary-General so eloquently put it,” said Anastasiades, whose offer was ignored.