UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon hosts a meeting between Cypriot President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu on Thursday (November 18th) in a fresh effort to boost ongoing reunification talks. UN spokesperson Farhan Haq said Ban hopes the two would demonstrate “the courage required to break the stalemate on the remaining core issues”. UN envoy to Cyprus Alexander Downer said Ban would like to use the talks to gauge how willing Christofias and Eroglu are to reach a settlement.
Meanwhile, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said on Wednesday that the EU and NATO must work together with Cyprus and Turkey to settle the conflict over the divided island because it is harming relations between the two organisations. “We both have the ambition to do more, and therefore should work closely with Cyprus and Turkey to identify possible ways to address the key concerns on both sides,” Ashton said in a letter to NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.