GENEVA (AP) — Talks aimed at reunifying the Mediterranean island of Cyprus resumed Wednesday with crucial discussions over future security arrangements set to top the agenda.
High-level envoys to a new round of talks aimed at reunifying the country’s Greek and Turkish communities after 43 years arrived for the U.N.-sponsored discussions in the Swiss Alps.
First up will be discussions on issues such as territory and governance, before the focus turns to the thorny security discussions this evening. One big disagreement between the two sides is on the future of the 35,000 Turkish troops on the island.
In the highest level meeting for six months, the foreign ministers of Turkey and Greece have joined Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci for the talks in the resort of Crans-Montana.
Most Read Nation & World Stories
- Where you're most likely to catch COVID: New study highlights high-risk locations
- Reporter is hit by car on air, striking a nerve with TV journalists
- McConnell: Black people vote at similar rates to 'Americans'
- A dam in Syria was on a ‘no-strike’ list. The U.S. bombed it anyway
- You had breakthrough COVID. Can you start living like it’s 2019?
Arriving at the meeting, Anastasiades said “there is always hope.”
Britain, a former colonial power in Cyprus, and the European Union are also represented at the talks that are aimed at securing a breakthrough to reunify the island that was divided along ethnic lines in 1974 when Turkish troops invaded after supporters of union with Greece led a failed coup.
About a dozen Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot activists from the peace group #UniteCyprusNow waved flags and held placards reading “peace” and “unite Cyprus now” outside the hall where the peace talks are taking place.
“We want the leaders to know that the people are watching and they’ll be held accountable for their actions,” activist Andromachi Sophocleous said by phone from Crans-Montana.