UN chief to meet Cypriot leaders in Berlin

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is set to meet the Greek and Turkish leaders of the divided island of Cyprus in Berlin later this month, Greek newspaper Kathimerini reported citing a Cypriot official.

The Nov. 25 meeting, taking place on the invitation of the UN chief, will map out the next steps towards a possible resumption of formal peace talks, it said. 

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded the north in response to a Greek Cypriot coup aiming to unite the island with Greece. Since then, the internationally recognised Republic of Cyprus has controlled the southern two-thirds of the island, and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, only recognised by Turkey, the northern third.

UN-brokered negotiations to reunify ethnically divided island have been deadlocked since 2017, in what was widely believed to be the best chance for peace since the island split in 1974.

The potentially rich hydrocarbon reserves off Cyprus are creating tensions in the region. Turkey says the breakaway Turkish-Cypriot enclave in the north of the island has a right to a share in the reserves, while the Cypriot government says any proceeds from gas drilling will be shared fairly after a peace deal is established.