By Busra Nur Cakmak
ANKARA (AA) – The EU’s foreign policy chief said on Friday that there is a "real opportunity" to seize a settlement on the Cyprus issue.
“The UN work on the ground is essential for confidence building. Upcoming UN informal 5+1 talks provide an opportunity towards an urgently needed resumption of talks. The EU is strongly committed to support these efforts,” Josep Borrel said on Twitter after visiting the Greek Cypriot Administration.
The UN invited Turkish and Greek Cypriot leaders, as well as guarantor states Turkey, Greece and the UK for informal talks in Geneva from April 27 – 29. The EU is also expected to attend as an observer.
Engaging talks will be beneficial for both parties, the region and the EU, he said.
During his visit to Cyprus, Borrell met Ersin Tatar, president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).
Following talks with Tatar, Borrell said on social media that he underlined the "importance of reaching agreement on settlement negotiations & of relaunch of UN process," in accordance with established parameters.
"EU ready to provide full support to the benefit of all Cypriots,” he said.
The Cyprus issue remains unresolved despite a series of efforts in the past two decades, including a failed 2017 UN initiative with the participation of the guarantor countries.
The island has been divided since 1964, when ethnic attacks forced Turkish Cypriots to withdraw into enclaves for their safety.
In 1974, a Greek Cypriot coup aiming at Greece’s annexation led to Turkey’s military intervention as a guarantor power to protect
Turkish Cypriots from persecution and violence.
The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) was founded in 1983.
The Greek Cypriot south entered the EU in 2004, the same year that Greek Cypriots thwarted a UN bid – the Annan Plan – to end the decades-long dispute in a referendum.