Meeting comes after the victory in elections of Turkish Cypriot President Ersin Tatar, in favor of keeping Cyprus divided into two States.
The presidents of northern and southern Cyprus – Turkish Cypriot Ersin Tatar and Greek Cypriot Nikos Anastasiadis – have agreed to meet to try to resume negotiations on the future of this divided Mediterranean island, after Tatar was recently elected in the presidential elections of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
According to Turkish media, Tatar and Anastasiadis had a telephone conversation in which they agreed to hold a meeting in the neutral zone that separates both halves of the island on October 26. Greek Cypriot government sources also confirmed the meeting saying that the idea had been suggested by Anastasiadis, although in this case without offering a specific date.
After the electoral victory of Tatar was known, Anastasiadis urged the new Turkish Cypriot leader to return to the negotiating table as soon as possible and to join the United Nations initiative to resume talks on the future of Cyprus. “The verdict of our compatriots in electing Ersin Tatar as the new leader of the Turkish Cypriot community is fully respected,” Anastasiadis said in a statement.
The new Turkish Cypriot leader is not in favor of reunification
Tatar, with an economic and conservative profile, was the winner in the presidential elections in Northern Cyprus during the second round of the elections held last Sunday, in which he managed to gather 51.7% of the votes and unseat his rival and until now Turkish Cypriot President Mustafa Akıncı, who spearheaded the latest negotiations with the Greek Cypriots which culminated in failure in 2017.
“The important thing is to work for the betterment of the Turkish Cypriots and the Greek Cypriots,” Tatar recently declared during a ceremony in the capital Lefkoşa (Nicosia) in which he received the official certification that accredits him as the winner of the elections, and the 5th elected president of the Turkish Cypriot Republic.
However unlike Akıncı – a defender of the UN-backed idea of Cyprus becoming a federation with two states – Tatar is in favor of maintaining close ties with Turkey and rejects reunification with the south: he believes that the best solution for the island involves creating two separate and independent States, a proposal rejected by the Greek Cypriots, who do not recognise the Turkish Cypriot government and claim their sovereignty over the entire island.
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He is the “old man” of the team, as we like to call him, although he still has a long way to go. A tireless traveller, he has travelled halfway around the world… and pretends to visit the other half!! A political science graduate, he is particularly passionate about the Middle East, the Caucasus and Greece.