After months of talks, the United Nations (UN) want to initiate new talks in April to overcome the division of Cyprus, which has been ongoing since 1974. This was announced on Thursday by a spokesman for the UN Secretary General.
Government circles in Nicosia confirmed the information.
The first round of talks is to take place in Geneva from April 27-29. In addition to the political leaders of the Turkish and Greek Cypriots, Ersin Tatar and Nikos Anastasiades, representatives of the three guarantee powers of the island republic will also take part in the talks: Great Britain, Turkey and Greece.
The aim of the UN is to reunite the island, which has been divided since 1974, in the form of a federation or confederation. There should be two politically equal states, a Turkish Cypriot in the north and a Greek Cypriot in the south.
The mediation is made more difficult in advance because Ankara and the Turkish Cypriots rely on a two-state solution – on the grounds that decades of mediation attempts with other approaches have not been fruitful. It is said that two independent states could possibly merge in a loose confederation in the future. However, the Greek Cypriots have so far strictly rejected this.
The conflict over the ghost town of Famagusta in the east of the island is also problematic. Here the Turkish Cypriots recently took the first steps to repopulate the Varosha district in the presence of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The beach town was once a tourist stronghold and was inhabited by Greek Cypriots; In its Cyprus resolution, the UN therefore calls for the return of Varosha to the former residents and their descendants.
In 2017, the UN efforts to overcome the conflict failed mainly because of the withdrawal of around 35,000 Turkish soldiers from the north of the island.