UN envoy visits divided Cyprus to explore prospect of restarting peace talks

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The UN Secretary General’s personal envoy to Cyprus, Maria Angela Holguin, met with Cyprus’ President, Nikos Christodoulides and leader of the Turkish Cypriots, Ersin Tatar, on Tuesday to explore the prospect of restarting peace talks.

Cyprus has been divided for 50 years, following an illegal occupation by Turkish forces in 1974.

In her meetings, Holguin asserted that the most essential thing is to listen to society, not only those in leadership.

“We must now consider the future… What I am going to do is listen to the people, listen to civil society, the needs of the people, what they want,” Holguin said, adding that she learned this following her participation in the Colombian peace process.

According to Cyprus Mail, the meeting at Cyprus’ Presidential Palace between Holguin and Christodoulides lasted for approximately one hour. The Cyprus President said he believes Holguin can help facilitate the restart of Cyprus talks.

Tatar reiterated his position for a two-state solution following his meeting with Holguin. He said in order to find common ground, “the sovereign equality of Turkish Cypriots must be accepted.”

Cyprus’ government spokesperson Konstantinos Letymbiotis expressed confidence in Holguin’s involvement in the matter, and said if both parties demonstrate mutual political will, discussions on the Cyprus problem might restart very soon.

Source: Cyprus Mail

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