An upcoming informal dinner between Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci will see if there are grounds for more talks on the island’s future, it has been claimed.
Cypriot government spokesman Prodromos Prodromou was reported as saying by the government’s official news agency that the April 16 encounter would “provide an indication” if more meetings could be arranged.
The UN first broke the news that the two men would meet later this month at the residence of Elizabeth Spehar, the Deputy Special Advisor of the UN Secretary-General on Cyprus.
Peace talks in Cyprus ground to a halt last year without resolution, and tensions in the region have worsened over Turkish warships in the island’s Exclusive Economic Zone.
Domestically too, the IMF has warned that Cyprus needs to tackle the amount of bad loans in its economy.
Cyprus experienced a serious financial crisis in 2012-2013, leading to a €10 billion ($12.3 billion) international bailout and continued IMF supervision.
Economic woes partly dominated the island’s recent presidential election, eventually won by the incumbent, Anastasiades.
Although Cyprus’ economy has improved since 2013 — the IMF predicts GDP growth of 4-4.5 percent for 2018-19 — the stalemate between the Greek and Turkish communities there overshadows the country’s future.