UN

Peace negotiations aimed at ending the division of Cyprus will resume in Geneva on June 28, the United Nations said on Saturday.

According to a statement by the Secretary General’s spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, the conference will be held at a political level under the auspices of the UN Secretary General.

Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, representing the Greek Cypriot community and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, would be present at the conference, along with Greece, Turkey and Britain as guarantor powers, while the EU would feature as observer.

Anastasiades and Akinci agreed to resume negotiations, which were stalled in May following disagreement over the modalities of the conference.

“The full-fledged conference would discuss security and guarantee arrangements, after a solution ending the 43-year-long division of Cyprus.

“Anastasiades and Akinci will discuss outstanding internal aspects of a settlement, namely territorial adjustments, the future of mostly Greek Cypriot properties, power sharing and relations with the EU,’’ the UN said.

Cyprus was divided when Turkey mounted a military operation in 1974, in response to a Greek inspired coup, resulting in the occupation of 37 per cent of the island’s territory.

“Security and guarantees are expected to be the thorniest issues, as Greek Cypriots want to end any presence of Turkey on the eastern Mediterranean island.

`’Turkey wants to keep a military detachment and preserve intervention rights it obtained when Cyprus became independent in 1960,’’ it noted.

Guterres personal envoy on Cyprus, Espen Barth Eide, has been engaged in a flurry of consultations with the parties involved, to prepare a document acceptable to all.

However, Cypriot government spokesman Victor Papadopoulos has said the negotiations cannot start unless the jointly acceptable document is in place by June 28.