Cyprus Reunification Talks to Resume

Cyprus Reunification Talks to ResumeCyprus Reunification Talks to Resume

The leaders of ethnically-split Cyprus have agreed to restart peace talks in a bid to reunify the island. The election of a moderate leftist Turkish Cypriot has raised hopes of a breakthrough after 40 years of division.

A United Nations envoy said the leaders have planned to resume the stalled talks on Friday May 15, seizing a “unique opportunity” for peace on an island that’s been divided along ethnic lines since 1974, DW reported.

Diplomat Espen Barth Eide made the announcement after hosting a dinner between Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and newly-elected Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci.

“They agreed it was important to use the momentum created and opportunity to move forward without delay,” Eide told journalists in the capital Nicosia.

It was the first meeting between the two leaders since Akinci, a moderate leftist and reunification advocate, defeated veteran nationalist Dervis Eroglu in elections last month. It’s believed the leadership change could give new momentum to reunification efforts.

Eide, a former foreign minister for Norway, said Friday’s talks would involve a “general exchange of views” and address the structure of future negotiations.

“I think this is a unique opportunity that will be grasped and it’s truly rewarding to work with two leaders with such a strong commitment to seeing a shared challenge that can only be solved through shared effort.”