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Politics

Cyprus Opposition Parties Oppose Reunification Summit Plan

November 12, 2020

NICOSIA — Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades should not take part in a meeting to discuss reunifying the divided island since newly-elected Turkish-Cypriot nationalist leader Ersin Tatar said he has rejected that, opposition parties said.

The plan is for the two to be joined by the three guarantors of security, the United Kingdom, Greece and Turkey, which has occupied the northern third since an unlawful 1974 invasion.

Tatar said he agrees with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and wants a two-state solution that would bring permanent partition although that could leave the Turkish-Cypriot side isolated as it's unrecognized in the world.

The meeting would be overseen by United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres who was at the last round of talks that collapsed in July, 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana when Turkey said it would never remove a 35,000-strong army on the occupied side and wanted the right of military intervention.

Turkey is also drilling for oil and gas in Cypriot waters, defying soft European Union sanctions, and Anastasiades had said he would never talk as long as that was going on but already met Tatar for an informal sit-down.

The rival Cypriot parties, The Cyprus Mail said, spoke after their leaders met with Anastasiades who reversed himself and said he would talk with the Turkish-Cypriot side despite Turkey continuing to drill in Cyprus' Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ.)

to discuss reunifiMost opposition parties warned on Wednesday that it would be 

Government spokesman Kyriacos Koushos said Anastasiades briefed the political leaders about his meeting between Anastasiades and Tatar with the United Nations' Special Representative Elizabeth Spehar, a Canadian diplomat who also oversees the UN peacekeeping force on the island.

Anastasiades also spoke on the telephone with UK’s Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab. “The UK is encouraging all parties to engage in Cyprus peace talks,” Raab tweeted after his conversation with Anastasiades, adding he reiterated the UK’s support for a peace settlement on the split island.

“We will take part in the informal five-party meeting to be convened by the UN secretary-general,” Koushos said, indicating that would go on even if Turkey keeps up provocations, which could give Erdogan and Tatar an edge.

The meeting isn't aimed at trying to bring any progress but just discuss procedures as has been done and failed for decades and as Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said there wouldn't be negotiations just to talk.

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