UK Special Envoy on Cyprus Jonathan Allen is set to pay the island a two-day visit on Wednesday and Thursday during which he will hold contacts regarding the Cyprus talks.
“Jonathan Allen, the UK’s Special Envoy on Cyprus will visit Nicosia for 2 days on 29-30 March,” a British High Commission press release issued here today says.
During that time, it is added, “Allen will hold contacts with both sides in the Cyprus settlement negotiations, UN Special Adviser to the Secretary-General, Espen Barthe Eide, and meet representatives of civil society and the bi-communal technical committees whose work also makes an important contribution to rapprochement between the communities of the island.”
Speaking on the visit, British High Commissioner Matthew Kidd said that “the UK welcomes the commitment of Mr. Anastasiades and Mr. Akinci to resuming political level talks soon.”
“The two leaders have shown courage and dedication to get this far in their negotiations, and have made remarkable progress,” he added.
He also expressed the view that “with continued commitment and political will on behalf of the leaders, we continue to believe that an historic agreement is within reach.”
Allen has held the role of Special Envoy on Cyprus since the Geneva Conference on Cyprus in January 2017.
He served as Political/Communications Officer at the British High Commission from 1999 – 2002.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. UN led talks between the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot communities resumed in May 2015 with a view to reunite the island under a federal roof.
The talks were interrupted in mid February by the Turkish Cypriot side, which demands that a decision passed by the Cypriot Parliament relating to a 1950 referendum on union with Greece is revoked, claiming this indicates a shift in the Greek Cypriot side`s goal for a federal solution. The amendment provides that there will be a very brief reference one a year to the referendum at schools.
President Anastasiades has described the House decision as wrong and called on the leader of the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mustafa Akinci, who walked out of the talks, to return to the negotiating table to discuss pending issues with a view to reach a mutually acceptable agreement to reunite the country.
The UN SG`s Special Adviser on Cyprus is hosting a dinner for the two leaders on Sunday. This is the first time the two will meet since mid February.