UN chief to meet Cyprus leaders in New York


Leaders of divided eastern Mediterranean island will meet at UN headquarters on June 4

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will hold a meeting with rival leaders of divided Cyprus at the UN Headquarters in New York on June 4, Turkish Cyprus Presidency spokesman Baris Burcu said late Wednesday.

sBurcu said in a written statement that the UN chief had a telephone conversation with Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Mustafa Akinci and invited him to New York for a meeting with the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiade.

"Our president gave a positive response to the invitation and told the UN leader that he would attend the meeting," Burcu added.

The reunification talks of the divided island are expected to dominate the meeting as recent UN initiatives have remained inconclusive.

The Eastern Mediterranean island has been divided since 1974, when a Greek coup was followed by violence against the island's Turks, and Ankara's intervention as a guarantor power.

Turkish Cypriot President Mustafa Akinci and Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades have been involved in reunification talks to create a federal state since May 2015.

Akinci and Anastasiades met several times in Geneva last year, but their last meeting in February was wracked by controversy over a Greek Cypriot decision to introduce a commemoration of the 1950 Enosis referendum on unification with Greece.

Both sides had agreed on most of the issues in the reunification deal but the sticking points, including a security and guarantees system, remain unresolved.

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