Cyprus president meets with Ersin Tatar for peace talks

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Newly elected Cyprus president, Nikos Christodoulides, and Turkish Cypriot leader, Ersin Tatar met on Thursday to discuss peace talks between the ethnically divided island.

According to Ekathimerini, the two officials met on neutral ground in a United Nations-controlled buffer zone that split the two sides of Cyprus’s divided capital, Nicosia.

United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus, said the meeting was ‘open and constructive’ about the deadlock in Cyprus.

“Mr Christodoulides and Mr Tatar addressed several issues, including the recent devastating earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria that claimed thousands of lives, amongst them Turkish Cypriots, and they expressed their sympathy for the victims and their families,” the spokesperson for the mission said in a written statement.

With the last round of peace talks in 2017, no new meeting was set however Christodoulides says he had suggested a social meeting with Tatar and their spouses.

Christodoulides, who will be officially sworn in on Feb 28 said, “The present state of affairs cannot be the solution to the Cyprus problem, not for Greek Cypriots, or Turkish Cypriots”.

Tatar, who is also a hardliner, says the only solution for Cyprus is a two-state one, with each side holding equal sovereign rights.

“I didn’t hear anything I didn’t expect from Mr Tatar,” Christodoulides said. “I expressed my readiness – and acknowledging the differences in approach and disagreements on basic issues – to do whatever I can to break the deadlock,” he said.

Source: Ekathimerini

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