President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci met for dinner in Nicosia for four hours on Sunday evening. No date was set to resume the Cyprus negotiations which stalled in mid-February, nor was any commitment was made by either leader regarding resumption of the talks.
The two chief negotiators were expected to be present at the dinner, but Akinci asked that the two community leaders meet only in the presence of UNSG’s Special Envoy to Cyprus, Espen Barth Eide.
A joint statement said that the UN would continue communications with both leaders in an attempt to find enough common ground to set a date for the talks to restart.
The brief joint statement issued by the UN at 11.50pm read: “Tonight, the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr. Mustafa Akıncı, and the Greek Cypriot leader, Mr. Nicos Anastasiades, had an open and constructive exchange about the challenges experienced over the last months. Furthermore, they exchanged ideas about the way ahead. As the two leaders will be abroad in the coming days, the Special Adviser of the Secretary-General, Mr Espen Barth Eide, will be continuing his interaction with them in order to lay the groundwork for the resumption of the negotiations as soon as possible.”
Outside, a group of Turkish and Greek Cypriots gathered to demand that the negotiations resume.
Akinci is to meet with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday. He was quoted earlier on Sunday as saying his goal in attending at the dinner was to see if it might be possible to reach a solution in two months if talks were to resume immediately.