The Egyptian, Cypriot and Greek foreign ministers met in the Cypriot capital Nicosia Wednesday to discuss shared interests and issues relating to energy, security, and tourism.
The meeting took place in preparation for a new round of talks in Cairo on 8 November.
A statement released by the Cypriot foreign ministry said that the main focus of the discussion ” is expected to be the role played by the three countries in the preservation of security and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean, and exchanged views on regional and international issues of common interest”.
The most controversial issue the talks will address is the Turkish occupation of Northern Cyprus, which began with the 1974 invasion.
“The consequences of the invasion, the military occupation and forcible division of the island, violations of human rights, massive colonization of occupied territory, the seizure of property, the destruction of cultural heritage and ethnic segregation is still continuing,” the Cypriot foreign ministry website states.
Cyprus, a member state of the European Union, has repeatedly complained to EU institutions about the ongoing Turkish presence on the island.
The maritime border around the Mediterranean island has also been a major point of contention between Cyprus and Turkey.
The EU discussed the issue of continued Turkish encroachment into Cypriot waters during a council meeting on 24 October, after Turkish research shipBarbaros entered and remained stationed in Cypriot waters. The ship is backed by a Turkish warship and two other support vessels.