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Politics

Anastasiades, Turkish-Cypriot Leader Will Talk, No Agenda Set

NICOSIA – It wasn’t said what they will discuss but Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and hardline nationalist Turkish-Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar – after a brief meeting at a reception – have agreed to meet again to talk about the thorny issue of reunifying the divided island – or not.

Anastasiades walked away from negotiations that fell apart in July, 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana when then Turkish-Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said 35,000 Turkish troops on the occupied side would never leave.

But the Cypriot President, whose country is a member of the European Union, said he was still willing to try again but then Tatar beat Akinci in 2020 elections and said he doesn’t want reunification, only recognition for the self-declared republic no other country apart from Turkey accepts as legitimate.

Anastasiades and Tatar met for the first time after seven months at a reception hosted by UN special representative Colin Stewart, said The Cyprus Mail, and were photographed together.

But Cypriot government spokesman Marios Pelekanos told radio Trito there was no talk about the issue of how to proceed other than they said they would find a date to sit down formally to negotiate.

Stewart said that there’s still hope to solve a problem so difficult that Cyprus has become known as the “graveyard of diplomats,” as the island remains split more than 48 years after unlawful Turkish invasions seized the northern third.

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