British Foreign Secretary begins contacts in Nicosia

British Foreign Secretary begins contacts in Nicosia

The British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond is in Nicosia for contacts with the political leadership. UN-led efforts to find a negotiated settlement in Cyprus and bilateral relations are high on the agenda of his talks.

According to his schedule, Hammond will be received by President Nicos Anastasiades in the morning. Later he will have talks with his counterpart Ioannis Kasoulides, followed by a joint press conference.

Kas╬┐ulides and Hammond will discuss the Cyprus peace talks, bilateral relations, the refugee crisis, EU reforms as well as regional and common interest issues.

Hammond is also expected to meet with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci.

A BHC spokesperson has told CNA that Hammond will also meet UNSG Special Envoy Espen Barth Eide and visit the Committee on Missing Persons.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third. Since then, the fate of hundreds of people remains unknown.

A Committee on Missing Persons has been established, following an agreement between the leaders of the two communities, with the scope of exhuming, identifying and returning remains of missing persons to their relatives.

UN peace talks are currently under way with a view to reunite the island under a federal roof.