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Turkish foreign minister to hold talks with Turkish Cypriot leader


Turkish foreign minister to hold talks with Turkish Cypriot leader

Photo: Fatih Aktas/ AP

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu will today visit Northern Cyprus to meet with Turkish Cypriot leadership.

Key to today’s visit are consultations between Cavusoglu and Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar, ahead of the upcoming five-party summit on resolving the division of Cyprus. The informal meeting, slated for early March and convened by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, will bring together representatives from Cyprus’s Turkish and Greek communities as well as the UK, Greece and Turkey to set an agenda and ground-rules for future negotiations. However, current tensions between Greece and Turkey over Turkish drilling in Cypriot waters may hamper discussions.

Expect Cavusoglu to encourage Tatar to call for discussion of Turkish use of the Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone at the upcoming summit, a key goal of Turkey but one likely to face vehement Greek opposition. While observers see the willingness of both Cypriot factions to resume talks as a positive sign of progress, a resolution and subsequent reunification are unlikely to follow this meeting. The last set of talks collapsed in 2017 after disagreements over whether Turkish troops would remain on the island post-reunification, and added tensions between Athens and Ankara may bog down talks before they have a chance to begin.

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