Cyprus Unity Talks Pick Up Again

NICOSIA – Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish-Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu on June 2 resumed talks about prospects to reunify the island, which has been divided since an unlawful 1974 invasion by Turkey.

It will be the first time they have met since U.S. Vice President Joe Biden visited Cyprus last month and had separate talks with them, while pushing the two leaders to find the answer to a vexing question that has eluded a host of negotiators for four decades.

The two leaders have agreed to meet twice a month regardless of whether there is progress in reunification talks, although they didn’t say why they would keep talking if it was going nowhere.

Anastasiades and Eroglu are due to discuss confidence-building measures and the work of the two sides’ technical committees, it was reported. Previous talks between Eroglu and Anastasiades’ predecessor, Dimitris Christofias, broke down when the Turkish leader dug in his heels and refused to make any concessions while demanding them.

Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot negotiators Andreas Mavroyiannis and Kudret Özersay met for three hours last week to prepare for the meeting.

Preliminary talks indicated that Anastasiades was willing to make so many concessions before the real negotiations began that it led to the withdrawal from the government of one of his coalition partners.

The initial blueprint shows Cyprus would still be divided. Turkish troops occupy the northern third of the island along with Turkish residents.