Cypriot leaders in UN reception ‘ice-breaker’

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On Tuesday evening, President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar will attend a social reception hosted by the UN in the Nicosia buffer zone to help rekindle moribund Cyprus talks.

It is part of a UN initiative to break the ice with the new UN head of mission and Cyprus envoy Colin Stewart.

Both rival leaders accepted the invitation of the new UNSG Special Representative, who underlined it is an informal social event without a political agenda.

Stewart had his first separate meetings with the two leaders last week.

He hopes Tuesday’s reception “will be another chance to get to know the leaders better, let them have some time among themselves as well and hopefully get off to a good start.”

Due to the pandemic, the reception at Ledra Palace will be held with limited participation.

Besides the two leaders, Greek Cypriot negotiator Andreas Mavroyiannis, special representative of Turkish Cypriot leader, Ergun Olgun and the head of the Technical Committees of both sides will attend the event.

The climate for peace talks has soured since the collapse of the UN-backed Cyprus conference in 2017.

Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots seek a two-state solution outside UN parameters, while Ankara has become more bullish in its opposition to Nicosia’s energy search.