UN Envoy in Cyprus to Break Deadlock: Can Former Colombian Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin Make a Difference?
UN Secretary General's envoy, Maria Angela Holguin, begins negotiations in Cyprus to break peace talk deadlock. Cyprus has been divided since 1974 and negotiations collapsed in 2017.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has sent an envoy, Maria Angela Holguin, to start negotiations in Cyprus in an attempt to break the deadlock in peace talks. Holguin, a former Colombian foreign minister, expressed her commitment to achieving a positive outcome for Cyprus, drawing from her country's experience in overcoming a 50-year conflict. Cyprus has been divided since a Turkish invasion in 1974 following a Greek-inspired coup, leading to ongoing friction between NATO members Greece and Turkey. Despite numerous mediation attempts, the UN-sponsored negotiations collapsed in 2017 due to disagreements over the role of Turkey in a post-settlement Cyprus.
Holguin met with President Nikos Christodoulides, the Greek Cypriot leader, and Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar, reiterating the need for sincere political will and positive input to create preconditions for the resumption of talks. The Greek Cypriot administration also unveiled confidence-building measures directed at Turkish Cypriots, signaling their commitment to finding a resolution. Tatar, who heads a breakaway state in North Cyprus, advocates for a two-state settlement, a stance that is opposed by Greek Cypriots who champion a reunification of the island under a federal umbrella with a strong central government.
Tatar emphasized the need for the recognition of Turkish Cypriot sovereignty for a fair and lasting agreement, further highlighting the complexities of the negotiations. Currently, Cyprus's internationally-recognized government consists solely of Greek Cypriots, a consequence of the breakdown of power-sharing arrangements with Turkish Cypriots in 1963. The visit from Holguin has brought renewed hope for progress in the peace talks, as the international community closely monitors the developments in Cyprus.