Christofias met Greek President Karolos Papoulias on Saturday afternoon. The two leaders did not release a statement following their talks. Papoulias was due to leave on Sunday to attend the Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in Abu Dhabi. Papoulias was due to meet with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Monday, at the Turkish leader’s request.
Turkey is the only state to recognize the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC) and has maintained a strong military presence there ever since it militarily intervened in the island in response to a Greece-sponsored coup in July 1974. The island has remained divided ever since and repeated rounds of negotiations between Greek and Turkish-Cypriot leaders on a possible reunification have failed to produce results.
Both Christofias and Talat have said they are determined to achieve a breakthrough this year, but success in their talks, which resumed earlier this week, appeared shaky after new Turkish Cypriot proposals were leaked last week and which include separate rights to sign international agreements and control of the Mediterranean island’s air space. Christofias and Talat are due to meet again on Jan. 25-27.
Today, Christofias will hold formal talks with Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou after their joint visit on Sunday to an area in western Peloponnese devastated by fires in 2007 where the Greek Cypriot government has helped rebuild one of the worst-stricken villages.