The EU has not yet been invited to the UN-led informal talks on Cyprus slated to be held in Geneva next week, but it fully supports the process, a European Commission official said on Thursday.
“At this stage, until today, we haven’t received any specific invitation” to the forthcoming talks on Cyprus under the auspices of UN, Peter Stano, the European Commission’s lead spokesperson for foreign affairs, said at a daily press briefing.
“But it doesn’t change anything on the overall position of the EU. We remain ready to play an active role and support this process that both sides can focus on what is ahead of them and find finally a solution,” Stano said.
He also explained that the bloc remained committed to “a comprehensive settlement that means agreement by both sides which would be beneficial for Cyprus, the EU and for the wider security in the region.”
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will convene a new round of talks on the Cyprus issue on April 27-29, bringing together the leaders of the Greek Cypriot administration and the Turkish Cypriot government, and top diplomats from the guarantor countries – Turkey, Greece, and the UK.
Cyprus has been mired in a decades-long struggle between the Greek and Turkish Cypriots, despite a series of diplomatic efforts by the UN to achieve a comprehensive settlement.
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. The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) was founded in 1983.
The Greek Cypriot administration, backed by Greece, became a member of the EU in 2004, although most Greek Cypriots rejected a UN settlement plan in a referendum that year, which had envisaged a reunited Cyprus joining the European Union.
By Agnes Szucs in Brussels