Turkish Cypriot Leader Rules Out Talks on Cyprus Issue Until June

Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı said on Friday that no negotiations on the Cyprus issue are expected until the middle of this year.

“It seems the nearest date when all the parties are able to be ready [for talks] will be June,” said Akıncı, speaking after meeting with UN Special Representative in Cyprus Elizabeth Spehar in Nicosia.

“There is no point in postponing [negotiations] later” than that, he added, pointing to Turkey’s local elections on March 31 and European Parliamentary elections at the end of May.

His comments echoed those of Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu who stated on Wednesday that it would not be realistic to restart Cyprus talks before the European Parliament elections.

Spehar, who is also head of the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), described her meeting with Akıncı as “fruitful”.

She said she will discuss the situation regarding the divided island of Cyprus and the UN’s role there during her meeting with U.S. government officials later this month in Washington.