Ground Not Yet Ready for Cyprus Peace Talks Resumption

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades, left, and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci pose for a photo during their meeting at a U.N compound inside the U.N buffer zone in divided capital Nicosia, Cyprus, Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019. (Iakovos Hatzistavrou/Pool via AP)

NICOSIA (AP) — Cyprus’ president says conditions aren’t yet ready for a resumption of formal talks to reunify the ethnically divided island nation because both sides remain apart on key issues regarding power sharing and security arrangements. Nicos Anastasiades, a Greek Cypriot, says efforts to restart negotiations are going through a “difficult phase,” but that he and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci have pledged to work to get negotiations back on track.

The United Nations hosted an informal meeting Tuesday between the two men in hopes they could clear the air on certain issues that would allow talks to resume.

They agreed on several measures to boost confidence, including an arrangement enabling people living in the breakaway north and the internationally recognized south to use their mobile telephones on either side.

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades, second left, Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci and UN Secretary General’s Special Representative to Cyprus Elizabeth Spehar, center, stand for a photo as they arrive at a U.N compound inside the U.N buffer zone in divided capital Nicosia, Cyprus, Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019. (Iakovos Hatzistavrou/Pool via AP)
A man sits by a sign reading ‘Peace” near from the main Ledra checkpoint that crosses from the south, Greek, to the ,north, Turkish Cypriots, controlled areas in divided capital Nicosia, Cyprus, Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019. Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and breakaway Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci they meet today under the U.N to laying the groundwork for a return to reunification negotiations almost two years after the most recent bid to hammer out a peace accord collapse. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)
Men walk under a Turkish, left, and a Turkish Cypriot breakaway flags at the north part of the city, by the U.N buffer zone that divide the Greek, south, and the Turkish Cypriots, north, controlled areas in divided capital Nicosia, Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019. Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and breakaway Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci they meet today under the U.N to laying the groundwork for a return to reunification negotiations almost two years after the most recent bid to hammer out a peace accord collapse. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)
A Turkish, left, and Turkish Cypriot breakaway flag are seen on two polls at a Turkish military area at the north part of the city, as two peacekeepers walk the U.N buffer zone that divide the Greek, south, and the Turkish Cypriots, north, controlled areas in divided capital Nicosia, Cyprus, Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019. Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and breakaway Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci they meet today under the U.N to laying the groundwork for a return to reunification negotiations almost two years after the most recent bid to hammer out a peace accord collapse. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)
An elderly man is seen through a military fighter position inside the U.N buffer zone that divides the Greek, south, and the Turkish Cypriots, north, controlled areas in divided capital Nicosia, Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019. Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and breakaway Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci they meet today under the U.N to laying the groundwork for a return to reunification negotiations almost two years after the most recent bid to hammer out a peace accord collapse. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)
A Turkish, left, and Turkish Cypriot breakaway flag are seen on two polls at a Turkish military area through a fence from the U.N buffer zone that divide the Greek, south, and the Turkish Cypriots, north, controlled areas in divided capital Nicosia, Cyprus, Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019. Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and breakaway Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci they meet today under the U.N to laying the groundwork for a return to reunification negotiations almost two years after the most recent bid to hammer out a peace accord collapse. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)