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Politics

UN’s New Envoy to Cyprus Talks With Mitsotakis About Unity Talks

ATHENS – No one’s come close to succeeding yet but the United Nations new envoy to Cyprus María Ángela Holguín Cuellar stopped in the Greek capital to talk with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis about the dilemma of reunification.

Foreign Minister George Gerapetritis also took part in  a discussion said to be about the obstacles in restarting talks that broke off in July, 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana.

That was over the refusal of the Turkish-Cypriot side that occupies the northern third of the island and Turkey to remove a 35,000-strong standing army and insistence on the right to further military intervention.

The election of hardline nationalist Ersin Tatar as the leader of the Turkish-Cypriot occupied territory that no country in the world apart from Turkey recognizes saw him reject unity in demanding two separate states.

That’s the problem facing Cuellar, almost seven years after the last UN envoy gave up following the Swiss debacle that has seen any attempt at trying to negotiate again hitting repeated setbacks.

Mitsotakis reiterated Greece’s support for renewed talks within the framework outlined by UN Security Council resolutions. Holguín is scheduled to travel to Ankara, London and Brussels before returning to Cyprus on March 6 for meetings with Tatar, Turkish-Cypriot officials and Cypriot President Nicos Christodoulides.

The Colombian diplomat plans to visit Cyprus every month in the coming period, while also making stops in Athens, Ankara and London – the three guarantors of security, to report to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

In July, the 50th anniversary of the invasion and occupation will be marked with decades of failures to find a solution to bringing the island back together again leading to it being called the “graveyard of diplomats.”

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