World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus President Mustafa Akinci said Tuesday that the United Nations (UN) should provide more assistance in the continuing reunification talks.
"Talking around the same issues should be over now, the UN should be more helpful to bring out a general framework," Akinci told journalists after the meeting with Greek Cypriot leader Nikos Anastasiades in the island's buffer zone.
Akinci and Anastasiades have been involved in reunification talks to create a federal state since May 2015.
The leaders met several times in Geneva last year but their last meeting in February was embroiled in controversy over the Greek Cypriot assembly’s decision to introduce a school commemoration of the 1950 Enosis referendum on unification with Greece.
Akinci said Anastasiades had walked out -- “slammed the door and left” -- when UN envoy Espen Barth Eide and Akinci expressed concern over the Enosis issue. Anastasiades later insisted he left the room during a break.
Following mediation, the UN announced the resumption of talks earlier this month.
The eastern Mediterranean island has been divided since 1974, when a Greek coup was followed by violence against the island’s Turkish population and Ankara's intervention to protect them.
Before the two-month hiatus, the two sides had agreed on most of the issues in the reunification deal but the sticking points, including a security and guarantees system, remain unresolved.
Turkey insists 30,000 Turkish troops must remain on the island as part of Ankara’s role as a guarantor power.
Once a final agreement is reached, it would be put to both communities in a referendum. A peace deal was approved by Turkish Cypriots in 2004 but rejected by Greek Cypriot voters.Last Mod: 02 Mayıs 2017, 22:09