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US: Turkish FM, UN head meet on global peace efforts

– Ongoing humanitarian crisis in Syria and Cyprus issue are discussed in top Turkish diplomat’s meeting with UN chief

By Safvan Allahverdi

WASHINGTON (AA) – Turkey’s foreign minister met with the UN chief on Tuesday in New York during his visit to address the UN General Assembly on building and sustaining global peace.

Mevlut Cavusoglu, accompanied by Turkey's Ambassador to the UN Feridun Sinirlioglu, discussed the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Syria and the Cyprus issue with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, according to diplomatic sources.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when a Greek Cypriot coup was followed by violence against the island's Turks, and Ankara's intervention as a guarantor power.

The UN has sought a peace deal to unite Cyprus under a federal umbrella that could also define the future of Europe's relations with Turkey, a key player in the conflict.

The latest attempt to reunify the long-divided Mediterranean island ended in failure in July 2017 after two years of negotiations.

Alongside his meeting with Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Didier Reynders, Cavusoglu late Monday also met with his German counterpart Heiko Maas to discuss global peace.

It was the first face-to-face meeting between the top Turkish and German diplomats since Maas’ appointment in March.

Cavusoglu on Monday also received students from the Ataturk School as part of celebrations of April 23 National Sovereignty and Children's Day at the Turkish Consulate in New York.

The April 23 celebrations focus on children after Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder of Republic of Turkey, dedicated the day to children as the nation’s future.

Turkey's Grand National Assembly or parliament met for the first time in 1920 in Ankara, the country’s future capital, during the War of Independence to lay the foundations for an independent, secular and modern republic.

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