Europe

Cyprus: UN Security Council has role in reunification talks

Greek Minister for Foreign Affairs Nikos Kotzias, left, shakes hands with the U.N. Special Advisor of the Secretary-General Espen Barth Eide before their meeting to discuss the progress of Cyprus Peace Talks in Athens, Friday, Feb. 3, 2017. The rival leaders of ethnically split Cyprus have asked the United Nations to prepare for a follow-up summit in early March that will aim to clinch a breakthrough on the difficult issue of how security will be handled after the island is reunified, a U.N. envoy said Wednesday. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

Greek Minister for Foreign Affairs Nikos Kotzias, left, shakes hands with the U.N. Special Advisor of the Secretary-General Espen Barth Eide before their meeting to discuss the progress of Cyprus Peace Talks in Athens, Friday, Feb. 3, 2017. The rival leaders of ethnically split Cyprus have asked the United Nations to prepare for a follow-up summit in early March that will aim to clinch a breakthrough on the difficult issue of how security will be handled after the island is reunified, a U.N. envoy said Wednesday. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)  (The Associated Press)

Cyprus' government spokesman says that U.N. Security Council member states must take part in an upcoming summit in Geneva aimed at removing a key stumbling block in the way of a deal reunifying the ethnically divided island.

Nicos Christodoulides told The Associated Press on Monday that Security Council members have expressed their readiness to "actively and effectively take part" in next month's summit and that he expects their participation.

He said that the U.N. Security Council, which has been involved in Cyprus talks for decades, should ensure the implementation of a peace accord — something that concerns both Greek and Turkish Cypriots.

The summit will focus on how post-reunification security arrangements will be handled.

Cyprus was split in 1974 when Turkey invaded following a coup aimed at union with Greece.