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Reunification of Cyprus | UN official dispatched to advance dialogue



(Nicosia) The new President of Cyprus, Nicos Christodoulides, met on Wednesday with a senior United Nations official visiting the divided capital Nicosia for the first time, in the hope of finding “ways to move forward” towards a resumption of the dialogue on the reunification of the island.

UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo spoke for about an hour with Christodoulides, who was elected in February after a campaign where he came out tougher than his opponents on a possible takeover talks after six years of deadlock.

“We have discussed the Cyprus problem at length and we simply want to reiterate the commitments of the Secretary General (of the UN, Antonio Guterres, editor’s note) to support a resolution” of the United Nations on this subject, declared DiCarlo to reporters after the meeting.

Since 2017, talks on the reunification of the Mediterranean island, under the aegis of the UN, have stalled. Cyprus has been divided since Turkey invaded its northern third in 1974 in response to a coup by Greek-Cypriot nationalists who wanted to reunite it with Greece.

A member of the European Union since 2004, the Republic of Cyprus exercises its authority only over the southern part of the island, separated from the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (RTCN, self-proclaimed and recognized only by Ankara) by the Line Green, a UN-controlled demilitarized zone.

Mme DiCarlo said she had “an excellent meeting” with the Cypriot president, adding that she would “discuss ways to move forward” in another meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar, head of the TRNC.

The latter, close to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, recently called on the international community to “recognize the existence” of two states in Cyprus, a red line for the Greek-Cypriot authorities.

The diplomat later described as “very fruitful” this meeting with Mr. Tatar, which focused in particular on “the need to strengthen the technical commissions”, according to a video message posted on the United Nations Twitter account in Cyprus.

The purpose of these 12 commissions is to enable the two communities, Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot, to dialogue on various subjects of common interest, such as culture or equality between men and women.

“Growing Militarization”

MM. Christodoulides and Tatar first met in February. The Cypriot president then assured that he wanted “nothing more than to end the blockage”.

According to its spokesman Konstantinos Letymbiotis, the Cypriot presidency on Wednesday informed Mrme DiCarlo of his determination to resume negotiations immediately.

“We are already at the negotiating table and we hope that Mr. Tatar will come to this table with a sincere desire to reach a solution for a two-zone, two-community federation,” the spokesperson said.

Mme DiCarlo was also due to visit the nearly 800 UN peacekeepers deployed in the demilitarized zone which separates the two parts of the island and cuts Nicosia in two.

In his biannual report submitted to the UN Security Council, Antonio Guterres shared his concerns about “a growing militarization of the ceasefire line” in Cyprus and a political climate marked by a “significant hardening of positions”. .

“Prospects for a mutually acceptable resolution continue to recede,” he wrote.

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