By Merve Aydogan
ANKARA (AA) – Turkey’s foreign minister will head to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) on Thursday.
Mevlut Cavusoglu will be in the TRNC on April 15 and April 16 on a working visit, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
Cavusoglu will meet his Greek counterpart Nikos Dendias in Turkey’s capital Ankara before leaving for the TRNC.
The Turkish foreign minister’s visit comes ahead of international talks on the long-divided island of Cyprus later this month.
The informal 5+1 meeting on the Cyprus issue, scheduled to be held in Geneva from April 27 to April 29, will be attended by the two parties of the island, the three guarantor countries of Turkey, Greece, and the UK, as well as the UN.
The dialogue will seek to determine whether common ground exists for the parties to negotiate a lasting solution to the Cyprus problem.
The island of Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when a Greek Cypriot coup was followed by violence against the island’s Turks and Turkey’s intervention as a guarantor power.
It has seen an on-and-off peace process in recent years, including a failed 2017 initiative in Switzerland under the auspices of guarantor countries Turkey, Greece, and the UK.
The TRNC was founded in 1983.
In 2004, a plan proposed by then-UN chief Kofi Annan to resolve the issue was accepted by the Turkish Cypriots, but rejected by the Greek Cypriots in twin referendums.
While Greece and the Greek Cypriot Administration support a federation on Cyprus, Turkey and the TRNC insist on a two-state solution reflecting the realities on the island.