Anastasiades Wants UN Envoy to Kickstart Cyprus Unity Talks

FILE - UN envoy Jane Holl Lute arrives at the presidential palace for a meeting with Cyprus' president Nikos Anastasiades in the divided capital of Nicosia, Cyprus, Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

NICOSIA – More than 18 months after talks aimed at reunifying Cyprus collapsed again, President Nicos Anastasiades wants United Nations envoy Jane Holl Lute to find some way to get them started again as soon as possible.

That’s what he was said to be telling her, the Cyprus Mail reported as she was to meet him and then separately Turkish-Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci who said earlier he thinks the island could he headed for permanent partition with Turkey continuing to occupy the northern third it seized in an unlawful 1974 invasion.

The last round of talks fell apart in July, 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana when Akinci and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said they would never remove their army and as they demanded the right to militarily intervene.

Anastasiades scheduled two meetings with Lute, an American diplomat who is the latest in a long of the envoys who’d hoped to bring the two sides together but have failed. She was dispatched by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres who tried to broker a deal at the Swiss talks but got nowhere and then wrote a report that blamed nobody for anything.