NICOSIA – A meeting between President Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu got underway at the UN compound in the Nicosia buffer zone on Tuesday morning.
The two leaders will ratify the joint declaration for the resumption of talks for a solution of the Cyprus problem.
The meeting is expected to last about an hour.
The UN is being represented by UN Chief of Mission Lisa Buttenheim, who at the end of the meeting will read out the joint declaration of the leaders of the two communities.
Eroglu was the first to arrive. He was met by Buttenheim at the UN offices, who accompanied him inside. Anastasiades arrived a few minutes later and was also met by the UN envoy.
There were no statements before the meeting started.
Anastasiades is accompanied by the Greek Cypriot side’s negotiator Andreas Mavroyiannis and Director of his Diplomatic Office Nicos Christodoulides, in addition to associates from both offices.
Eroglu is accompanied by six of his top aides, in addition to an interpreter.
President Anastasiades has said that the aim was to reunify the island and live together with the Turkish Cypriots in a European country.
The resumption of the UN-led talks takes place following months of discussions between the negotiators of the two sides on the text of a draft joint declaration, to which both leaders have given their consent.
The talks have the support of the international community. On Monday, the US expressed the hope rapid progress will be achieved toward a just and lasting settlement of the Cyprus problem that will be acceptable to both the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities.
“The United States is encouraged by these reports and looks forward to successful resumption of the U.N.-led talks in the coming days,” a US State Department official said.
He also confirmed that the US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns called Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu on February 6.
“Deputy Secretary Burns reiterated strong US support for the efforts under UN auspices to reunify the island as a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation that would bring security and economic prosperity to all the people of Cyprus”.
“We hope rapid progress will be achieved toward a just and lasting settlement that will be acceptable to both the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities”, he concluded.