United Nations Secretary General Adviser on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide is scheduled to visit the island on March 16-18 in order to hold meetings with both the Republic of Cyprus officials and representatives of the illegal Turkish-Cypriot entity. The UN-backed talks aim at solving the long-standing Cyprus problem, occurred after the 1974 Turkish military invasion on the island.
According to a UN Secretary General press statement, Eide’s schedule “will include meetings with the Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot leaders,” namely Nicos Anastasiades and Dervis Eroglu, and “their respective negotiating teams, as well as a range of other interlocutors.”
Moreover, it is noted that Eide “looks forward to this upcoming visit as a chance to continue his dialogue with the leaders on the resumption of structured negotiations.” “As part of his outreach to others, who have a crucial role to play in efforts to reach a comprehensive settlement, Mr. Eide will also host an event for female civil society representatives and media from both communities,” the press statement concluded.
Cyprus, which is a member of the European Union since 2004, has been violently divided since 1974, after a brutal Turkish invasion and the following occupation of its northern lands or 37% of its territory. On its part, Turkey has repeatedly denied to recognize the Republic of Cyprus, despite numerous calls by international institutions and the European Union, which Ankara aims to join. At the same time, numerous United Nations-backed negotiations to reunite the island under a federal government have failed. In October 2014, Cypriot President Anastasiades suspended his participation in the peace talks following a Navigational Telex (NAVTEX) issued by Turkey for the conduction of hydrocarbons research in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) by seismic vessel “Barbaros,” escorted by a number of Turkish Navy ships.