ATHENS: The leaders of Cyprus’s estranged Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities will meet over dinner next Sunday in a first encounter of the two since peace talks were abruptly interrupted in February, the United Nations said on Monday.
Reunification talks hit the latest in a long line of snags last month over a decision by Greek Cypriot lawmakers to commemorate the 1950 referendum which had then sought to unite the island with Greece – infuriating Turkish Cypriots.
Espen Barth Eide, the special adviser to of the United Nations secretary-general, will host a dinner for Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci on April 2, his office said in a statement.
The dinner will take place in the United Nations-controlled buffer zone dividing Cyprus’s capital, Nicosia.
Cyprus was split when Turkey invaded in 1974 in a move triggered by a brief Greek-inspired coup. The seeds of division were sowed much earlier when a power-sharing government crumbled amid fighting in 1963, just three years after the island gained independence from Britain.
(Reporting By Michele Kambas)