Greek Cypriot leaders, Cypriot president Nikos Anastasiadis and Turkish Cypriots Mustafa Akynji will meet Monday evening for an informal dinner, the outcome of which may be the resumption of negotiations on the Cyprus settlement.
After the failure of the conference in Crans-Montana in July 2017, negotiations between community leaders were not conducted.
A few days ago it was announced that Anastassiadis and Akynji will meet 16 April at an informal dinner organized by the Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Cyprus, Elizabeth Spehar. The meeting will be held in the buffer zone in Nicosia, and journalists will not be allowed to visit it.
Dinner will be held without a specific agenda, which will allow the two leaders to freely exchange views, but in Nicosia they hope for the resumption of negotiations.
"This will be a dinner for communication between the leaders of the two communities, and we hope that it will open the way for the resumption of negotiations," RIA Novosti was told in the Foreign Ministry of Cyprus.
Cyprus de facto remains divided from 1974 year.
Turkish forces on the night of 21 July 1974 year invaded the north of Cyprus and occupied 37% of the country. The pretext for the invasion was an attempted coup in Cyprus 15 July 1974 with the participation of the Greek military. In justification of the occupation, Turkey refers to international treaties on the granting of independence to Cyprus, which provide for the right of the three guarantor countries of independence, territorial integrity and security (Greece, Turkey and Cyprus) to interfere in the internal affairs of Cyprus and the deployment of small military contingents on the island. The treaties were signed during the collapse of the colonial system - then Cyprus was a British colony, and in the current circumstances many of its articles are considered an anachronism that limits the sovereignty of a country that is a member of the EU.
Against the Turkish invasion, the entire international community came forward. The UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly adopted a number of resolutions on de-occupation and unification of the island, but Turkey refuses to comply with them and withdraw troops. Cyprus is considered the most militarized area in the world.
In 1983, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was proclaimed in the occupied territories, which was recognized only by Turkey. At the same time, officials of northern Cyprus, including its leader Mustafa Akynji, use passports of the Republic of Cyprus for trips abroad, since their own documents are not recognized by the international community.
Negotiations on the reunification of Cyprus are conducted almost from the moment of its division, they were repeatedly interrupted, and resumed in February 2014 year after a two-year break on the initiative of the current president Anastasiadis.
In December 2016, the Greek Cypriot leaders Anastasiadis and the Turkish Cypriots Akynji agreed to hold an international conference in Switzerland under the auspices of the United Nations. In January 2017, the first conference was held in Mont Pelerane, and in late June and early July the second in Crans-Montana.
In July 2017, the negotiations on Cyprus failed - in Crans-Montana it was not possible to find a solution to the problem of partitioning the island, and the talks were postponed. In Athens, it is believed that the first real chance to solve the Cyprus problem appeared at the Crans-Montana conference, but it was missed because of Turkey's position.
The main problems are the occupation of Turkish troops on the island and an anachronistic system of guarantees that allows the three guarantor countries to interfere in the affairs of Cyprus.
According to diplomatic sources in Athens, a new situation and prerequisites for the unification of the island were created in Crans-Montana, but the following negotiations should be better prepared. In addition, the special representative of the UN Secretary General for Cyprus, Espen Bart Eide, who was repeatedly criticized by the Greek side for the pro-Turkish position, resigned. According to observers, Eide's care can have a beneficial effect on the negotiations.
Despite the breakdown of the conference, a new situation has arisen in the negotiation process - a rapprochement on a number of important issues has been achieved, the framework and parameters for the settlement have been determined, the parties presented their vision for the future of the organization of Cyprus.