A social meeting between divided Cyprus’ leaders has been moved forward and will take place before the swearing-in ceremony of President-elect Nikos Christodoulides, who has been ready to meet Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar even before assuming office.
Christodoulides, who is set to become the de facto Greek Cypriot leader when he becomes the eighth president of the Republic of Cyprus, is set to meet with Tatar next week, before he takes the oath of office.
Christodoulides says he will push for more EU involvement in the Cyprus Problem, while Tatar argues European Union leaders are biased in favor of Greek Cypriots
Initial media reports suggested the meeting between the two leaders had been planned for March 1, the day of the inauguration, but later reports said a casual gathering was set to take place next week.
According to a statement from Christodoulides’ political office, the two men will meet on February 23 at 11am in the buffer zone at the residence of Cyprus’ UN top official Colin Stewart.
Earlier this week a UN tweet said Stewart was looking forward to facilitating a meeting between the two leaders but left open the time at their convenience.
The meeting comes amid concerns that peace talks on the divided island have been losing impetus.
Christodoulides says he will push for a more active and greater EU involvement in the Cyprus Problem, while Tatar has argued that European Union leaders have been biased over the conflict in favor of Greek Cypriots.
Cyprus has been divided along ethnic lines for half a century. After Turkish troops landed in 1974, following a short-lived Greek-inspired coup, the island became geographically split between a recognized Greek Cypriot south that represents the Republic of Cyprus and a Turkish Cypriot north recognized only by Ankara.