UN to host informal meeting of split Cyprus’ rival leaders

March 30, 2018 GMT

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — The United Nations peacekeeping mission on ethnically divided Cyprus says it will host an informal meeting between the rival Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders next month.

A U.N. statement Friday said the April 16 meeting between Nicos Anastasiades and Mustafa Akinci will be held at the residence of UN Chief of Mission to Cyprus, Elizabeth Spehar.

It will be the first time the leaders will meet face-to-face since the collapse of high-level peace talks at a Swiss resort in July.

The meeting is viewed as an icebreaker following the collapse of negotiations, affording the leaders an opportunity to re-engage socially after months of virtually no contact.

Both sides have said the meeting doesn’t necessarily signal a resumption of negotiations, but that it’s a positive step.